#BreakTheCycle: The Defense of Stubbornness
“I’m stubborn, not deaf.”
Of all the phrases I say or have said on a regular basis, this had to be in the top 7 (probably more like top 4, but let’s not dwell on that part). I have said this before, but not only did I say it often, I believed it strongly. The idea of someone repeating the same thing to me over and over again didn’t soften my stance, I just dug my heels in deeper.
Now, I’m not talking about that bad advice that the lady in Wal-Mart gave me when I was trying to shuffle through the self-checkout lane. I’m talking about loving people, who know me and had nothing but my best life interest at heart. Because even though they meant well and had wisdom I didn’t possess, I had decided that the security I had in my logic was safer than anything they were offering.
And that’s true for many of us. We’re not (always) stubborn and unmovable for no reason, we’re stubborn and unmovable for protection. Because at some point in life, (probably pretty early on) we wanted that help and guidance and we wanted to listen to someone we considered more knowledgeable; but maybe that someone wasn’t available. Or we had a desire to be taught and molded and the teacher we sought didn’t exist.
But we didn’t get despondent and give up, absolutely not! We did better than that. We got creative! Instead of looking for or looking to the people we thought we needed, we become the people we thought we needed. And we did a pretty amazing job with it too (that’s my story for everyone and I’m sticking to it). We essentially filled those areas that were left open years ago.
We can be some amazing planners in life, but even the most thorough people have blind spots. For those of us with a stubborn streak that blind spot sometimes lies in what to do when we finally have those people in our lives that are meant to step into those formally self-filled areas. We’ve been operating in these multiple roles for weeks, months and often years. We have perfected our process and it works for us (not really, but it’s ours and that’s really what matters). So, the question still remains, what do we do when the role of teacher, guider, counselor, etc… in our lives is supposed to be handed over to someone else?
For many of us, we cringed at the mere thought of that last sentence! Handing over that level of influence in our lives is typically a no go. But we’re not usually saying no because we have it all figured out, we’re saying no because we don’t trust anyone else to do a better job than us (even when the job we’re doing is choppy and barely keeping our heads above water).
But what happens when the person trying to come into these areas is the rightful leader anyway? What happens when God wants you to vacate the teacher (John 13:13), guider (John 16:13) and counselor (Isaiah 9:6) position so He can lead you the correct way?
The answer is we fight Him back! And please don’t scoff at me like you haven’t tried to fight off God when He was only trying to help you. Part of me thinks that is like a believer’s rite of passage or something (that’s not biblical, just my stream of thoughts).
Never have we fought God back because we think we can win. Nope, quite the opposite. We know, logically, that God is the great I Am (Exodus 3:14) and we know He has the entire world in His hand (Job 12:10); but part of us doesn’t believe He has our world in His hand.
Well, I have some good news and some good news. The good news is that God is unshifting and doesn’t change His mind (Numbers 23:19), so if He has the entire world in His hand then that includes us too. There isn’t like an “opt out of love” waiver we can sign; His love and kindness is forever (Psalms 100:5).
The other good news is that we have the option of moving out of God’s way…if we choose (and it really is our choice).
We can make the difficult choice to stay the same and we’ll experience discontentment that will only fester. Or we can make the nervous choice to trust God and believe (James 1:6) and we’ll experience short-term growing pains with long-term benefits.
How are you choosing today?
Chat with God
In what three areas are you the most stubborn?
What is it about these areas? Why is it difficult to trust God in them?
What is your one sentence prayer to God in this situation?
Please invite a friend to this series who you think would like to join this journey!
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