They say that determination can take you many places. The unwillingness to waver on our dreams in pursuit of a goal that drives us beyond the average person. But, does that mean the same thing as stubbornness?
I would have to say, sort of. If there’s anyone who shouldn’t talk about stubbornness, it’s probably me. The Mrs. will tell you, especially when it comes to certain foods or clothes shopping, I’m probably one of the most stubborn men around.
Not that I don’t appreciate her advice, cooking, or fashion sense, to be clear. In fact, she has a great sense of what looks good and has become quite the chef. I really couldn’t put a finger on why I feel like not ‘giving in’ at times when shopping for that new polo shirt or shoes. It’s probably more about my ‘man card’ not feeling like my wife dressed me than if I like something better.
I think the older we get, the more we tend to become, well, more set in our ways. We know some precious people who just won’t accept no for an answer or who are so doggedly independent, they won’t accept help until they absolutely need to. I’ve been there and can understand, but it could become dangerous for them at some point.
There were also many examples of people in the Bible who were too stubborn to change and accept what God had asked of them who, in the end, didn’t fare well because of that hard-heartedness.
Being ‘stubborn’ isn’t always a bad thing. Especially, when it comes to our faith. There are many Biblical figures who you could point to that expressed that stubbornness to do what they felt God telling them to do. Moses would be a great example of that. Did they waver? Of course, they did. But, at their core, they were determined to stick things through.
Where do we draw that line? How do we determine if the stubbornness we feel about certain things is good or bad? If we do everything someone else wants us to do, then we lose our sense of independence. If we never listen to authority, like a belligerent teenager, we may put ourselves at risk or miss out on something we would have never experienced had we not been open to change.
For me, I would have to say it all boils down to the question of, ‘does it really matter?’ and, if so, then why? Being humble enough to accept the help, advice, or support of another is admirable. At the same time, being willing to stick to what we know is right in the face of persecution and opposition, is a sign of bravery.
Does it matter if I wear that turquoise colored shirt that I may not like too much, or, is it more important that the Mrs. is attracted to me when I do? I would say the later is MUCH more important to me! Does it matter when someone tells me my beliefs about God are nothing but a ‘crutch’? Yes! And I won’t waiver just because someone hasn’t found the love of God in their heart like I have.
So, it all comes down to humility, putting others first on things that really don’t matter as much as we think, and sticking to those things we know to be true and good. Not an easy task, to tell the truth.
It will take most of us a lifetime to walk in that kind of wisdom. We’ll need the help of a patient, loving, and empowering Heavenly Father to guide us down that path.
There have been an unspoken number of times while in a conversation with the Mrs. that I wanted to stick by something and I sensed that still, small voice inside say, ‘Let go Brad. Look at it from her perspective and put her first’. And THAT, if two people can find the willingness to do, will make for a lifetime of love together.
It’s when we hold onto something no matter what anyone says (outside of our faith I mean), that we build walls and shut others out. We become so blinded by our own stubbornness that we shut out what really matters; others…
So, tonight, here’s to being open to other’s opinions, advice, and help. Here’s to finding the wisdom to discern and the grace to be humble. I’ll leave you with a cute Disney short film below that sort of puts it all into ‘perspective’.