Tenacious Trust or Stubbornness?

GodReflection: Share It Again

I like to blame it on my family tree. That way I 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? Maybe 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. Not too bad, those are attractive words.

By contrast, Mr. Webster provides negative usages like unyielding, immovable, inflexible, obstinate, mulish, and I especially like the image 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 the 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 served alongside those in other nations to win World War II and returned home to populate the USA with offspring they taught to believe that anything and everything is possible. Parallel to that belief they grafted into our DNA stickability. 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 plays into my commitment to Jesus. I assume it colors what I’ve come to call tenacious trust. However, at some point in my walk as maturity and understanding grew, tenacity that may have been influenced by enculturation became driven by faith.

Over the long run stubbornness cannot sustain. 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.

Somewhere along the way I would like to think that the gift of stubbornness began to fade into the background. As it dims—my tenacious trust in the Holy begins to receive its sustenance from a taproot burrowed deeply into springs that flow from creation, the resurrection, and God’s promises. These ever-present realities remind me of the Holy and the role creation plays to sustain my trust.

So, let’s not get too uptight when we recognize traces of the gift of stubbornness in our walk. Jesus can build on stubbornness to help us trust tenaciously the Holy. What would you add to enrich our trust walk?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Tenacious Trust or Stubbornness? 





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