Monday, August 17, 2009

We must de-glamorize stubbornness.

Since I was in middle school, I liked--no, loved--my reputation of being stubborn. There was a certain romance to it: I could stand up to boys with it (especially when I lacked for wit), I could plow forward when no one else wanted to, I could be a heroine in my own little world. Now I know that the trait I loved was just a sin I loved.

Can't stubbornness be good, you ask?

No. Having a strong will is good; having a stubborn attitude/heart is not. My husband is fond of pointing this out ("Semantics are important!" he says, quite rightly). A strong will, among other things, helps people stand on their convictions. Stubbornness, on the other hand...well, see for yourself.

First, I found the following web definitions for stubbornness on
- the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome
- resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires

The first definition sounds pretty negative, if you ask me. The second hits on my main point, which is stubbornness is self-glorification. That's bad.

I've been reading through Jeremiah--WOW did he have a tough job!--as the prophet speaks the judging words of God to miscreant Israel: "...I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not." (Jeremiah 11.7-8)

I think it's clear. God does not want us to be stubborn!

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