The Gift of Stubbornness

GodReflection: Tenacious Trust

garyguarujaI like to blame it on my family tree. That way I can rationalize that my gift of stubbornness isn’t my fault.

I suppose we all possess a generous portion of the fallen gene stubbornness.

After a quick perusal of a NIV Bible concordance I find the word stubbornness appears twenty-eight time and never as a positive trait.

Sounds like I may be in trouble.

Is it possible that this is a word that mellowed over the centuries to take on helpful nuances?

Stubbornness BMaybe a dictionary will help.

When I look for its synonyms I immediately notice both positive and negative usage of the same word. It seems that stubbornness can either be a gift or a plague.

In the positive column I find words like persistent, tireless, tenacious, perseverance, determination, and the good strong word stalwart.

In contrast, negative usages appear like unyielding, immovable, inflexible, obstinate, mulish, and I especially like the stubborn1image of pigheaded. I’ve no doubt possessed a generous portion of these half dozen descriptors.

Okay, back to my own “gift” of stubbornness.

In other posts I’ve mention my Baby Boomer tag I carry through life. Baby Boomers are a gift to society from “The Greatest Generation” to use the Tom Brokaw book title.

Against all odds the greatest generation won World War II and returned home to populate the USA with offspring they taught to believe everything was possible. Parallel to that stubborn7belief we knew that to quit a task was unacceptable.

Thus, the gift of stubbornness took deep root among this Baby Boomer.  I haven’t a clue how much my Baby Boomer culture played into my commitment to Jesus. I assume it colors what I’ve come to call tenacious trust.

StubbornessAHowever, at some point in my walk as maturity and understanding grew, tenacity that may have been influenced by enculturation became driven by faith.

What may have started from a can do attitude began to morph into a dependence upon the Holy and the good side of stubbornness started to exercise its positive aspect of persistence, tenaciousness, perseverance, and determination, under the rule of King Jesus.

Over the long run stubbornness cannot sustain.

Somewhere along the way I would like to think that the gift of stubbornness faded into the background. As it became dimmer my tenacious trust in the Holy started to receive its sustenance from a taproot that burrowed deeply into implications that flow from creation, the resurrection, and the promises.

In the next post I plan to explore the reality of the ever-present creation that is always present to remind me of the Holy and the role creation plays to help me keep trusting.

So don’t get too uptight if you recognize traces of the gift of stubbornness in your walk. Jesus can build on stubbornness to help you trust tenaciously the Holy.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Gift of Stubborness



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