Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Hello readers! I apologize for my one week absence in posting. I could give a myriad of excuses but I will simply leave it at the apology.


I would say the majority of individuals define stubbornness as something like: the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome. Now, this definition is absolutely true, but my contention is this: we ALWAYS equate stubbornness to a bad concept when it is not always bad.

Let's look at some other definitions that are equally as valid as the first one:

Dictionary.com - "unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving: a stubborn child. "

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: "unreasonably or perversely unyielding"

These are the initial definitions we all think of, and the ones first presented in any dictionary. However, there are other definitions in the same sources! Definitions that we far too often forget:

"Fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute."

"Justifiably unyielding: Resolute."

You'll notice these definitions are put more in a positive light. We continually push stubbornness as a negative trait when often times it is not. Consider this: What if our forefathers had not be "stubborn" in fighting for freedom? What if Martin Luther had not been "stubborn" in his religious views? What if Gutenberg had not been "stubborn" in believing all people should be able to read the Bible?

I won't waste your time by discussing how improper stubbornness is destructive and annoying because you already know that. So let's talk about how often we refuse to be "justifiably stubborn".

For example: an Atheist walks up to me and says, "Hey there! God doesn't exist, you shouldn't believe in Him, it's all a joke, you should give it up and stop believing in Him."

Me: "Oh gosh. I bet you're right! I guess it is pretty silly to believe. Sure, I'll give up on Christianity."

NO! Why would I do that? That doesn't make ANY sense. I have every right to be "stubborn" in my view-point and beliefs. Just as I would expect a staunch atheist to not simply give up all of his views and become a Christian just because I tell him he should. Sure, he is wrong in his beliefs, but he would see me as wrong in mine as well. My point is this: as Christian we should be stubborn. We should stand our ground and be "Justifiably unyielding", for if we are not then we are Luke-warm (or worse) Christians.

I urge you to consider this principle. Yes, refrain from wrongful stubbornness, but never forget that there are two distinct definitions of stubbornness. Don't give up on your beliefs and faith. As a Christian you are on the right side and many will try to sway you against it, be stubborn! Stand your ground.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary:

Persevering; persisting; steady; constant; as stubborn attention. Hardy; firm; enduring without complaint; as stubborn Stoics (A person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining). Refractory; not easily melted or worked; as a stubborn ore or metal.


Nathan Straub said...

Not sure what to say, here... but I'm glad you're posting. :) I went through a long phase when I would post these philosophical things I was thinking, and people (my sis) would tell me to post something more personal. Now, I'm not posting at all anymore. So you're one-up on me as far as that goes.

We definitely need to be the right kind of stubborn. I think everyone has their limits, and even when others appear soft, there's a stubborn side once you get past the niceness. And likewise, even when others put up a stubborn front, they will give way before the right kind of forceful persuasion. Confidence, even if it's the trembling kind, can be a gift we give to others.

I had one friend named Phil, who always seemed nervous and underconfident. But he always asked me how I was doing spiritually. And when I said I was having a hard time because I needed to love God more, he told me "We have to be loved by God before we can love him." That has stuck with me for two years so far.

Another friend of mine is a theologian, and yet he says the Bible is just the work of men, and that God doesn't need miracles for us to believe he's all powerful. He also says Jesus is the only way for Christians, but maybe not for people of other faiths. He is confident in the idea that we shouldn't be so confident of our beliefs.

I want to be more like the first guy, if I have a choice.

Keep up the writing!

JustinK said...

Hey Nathan! Thanks for posting such an insightful comment, I really appreciate it!

I agree with you two examples. I find it incredibly difficult to adhere to the ideal that the Bible is "simply the work of men". Then again, I have always been taught that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God and man simply wrote it down.

Confidence is absolutely a gift we can give to others. I find through my teaching/coaching whether it be with music or speech/debate one of the traits most needed by the students is confidence. They can know their material, know what they are suppose to do, but if they have no confidence in themselves then they will surely fail. In the same way, as Christians we must be firmly confident that what we believe is 100% true. If we second guess our own faith then our foundation is weak and will surely break. Furthermore, in order for us to be effective ambassadors for Christ we must know full well that God is truly God, and that what we believe is right. Nuances can evolve over time, but the core beliefs must be unchanging.

Thank you for your input!