I am stubborn.
I’m pretty sure I get it from my grandmother. I used to say that I didn’t mind admitting when I was wrong—if it ever happened. But that’s not true. It kills me a little each time I’m forced to admit that I’m wrong… especially if I think I can argue my way into some passable form of rightness.
I’m passionate, articulate and strongly opinionated. I fling words like arrows, perfectly targeted at my intended point. Most times they land quite convincingly. While this is incredibly beneficial in impassioned teaching, it’s dangerous in a casual conversation turned heated argument.
Redeemed, the quality of stubbornness is persistence through opposition. Unredeemed, stubbornness is mule-headed and unprofitable.
Love does not insist on getting its own way. Love is not irritable, resentful, or rude. (1 Cor. 13:4-5) In order to love as we’re intended to, we must be willing to bend, and sometimes even break our own will; preferring God and others to our own desires.
It’s hard and I hate it.
I know I run the risk of sounding like a brat, but I like getting my own way. I’m a woman who knows what she wants, and knows how to get it. Growing up, “yes” meant yes, and “no” meant I was going to have to get a little more creative. (Pray for my children.)
I know my own mind. If I’ve reached a conclusion, it’s because I’ve weighed all the known facts, deliberated, processed and decided on the best option, or course of action. I’m not a sloppy decision maker. To say you disagree with me means you’re discounting my solid system! And honestly, if I thought your way was the right way, that’s the way that I would have chosen.
Sounds obnoxious, doesn’t it? But I dare you to search your heart and tell me there’s not a glimmer of that same attitude in there.
Proverbs 29:1 says, “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” Someone who knows everything, doesn’t know the best thing—that we are all works in process and that we all need to bend in order to grow.
Romans 2:5 says, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Granted, the above is in regards to belief and faith in Jesus as Christ, but the principle stands—when we refuse to bend, we store up wrath for ourselves. Hard things break, or shatter; it’s the soft and malleable that do not.
There are times when I will vehemently argue myself into a corner, realize I’m mistaken, and will continue on that destructive path, simply because I hate to admit that I was wrong. By doing that, I compound my error, and watch it multiply in magnitude. It’s foolishness.
Proverbs 9:13 says that it’s a person’s own foolishness that leads to their ruin. Many times that happens because of a closed mind, lack of repentance, and a steadfastly stubborn spirit. But love covers all of that.
Thankfully, no matter what our intrinsic nature is, when we become a part of the family of God we receive His nature by His Spirit. We receive the mind of Christ—meaning, we are given the ability to reject our original nature in exchange for a new one. One of grace, and compliance. Not brainless, lemming compliance, but knowing and willful obedience through humility… With the occasional spunky outburst, to keep things interesting.
Love does not demand that the beloved bend to its will. It does not dig its heels in against the beloved. It doesn’t fly it’s fists, or shout. Instead, it patiently bears all things, and responds in the strength of kindness. (1 Cor. 4) Love prefers others to itself. (Phil. 2:3)
Love does not insist on having its own way… Do you?