“Because of sin everyone of us is, from the days of our youth, accustomed to think that he is right, that his head is the best, and to dislike giving way to another person.”
We have become a very stubborn people. Rather than talk through our problems, too many have chosen to resist compromise and we have become a society of left verses right, woke verses the unwoke and conservative verses liberal.
Of course, the people of today didn’t invent this type of stubbornness. It’s been with us since the dawn of civilization. Adam and Eve wanted enlightenment on their own terms. The people before the flood wanted their own gods. Moses wouldn’t speak. Saul wouldn’t obey and David wouldn’t listen. “And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you” (Exodus 32:9-10).
Needless to say, God is not a big fan of those who show their sin by thinking that their own way is the only way. That’s because the one who is stubborn in this way only thinks of themselves. In a way they have ordained themselves to be royalty and their edicts non-negotiable.
When Saul didn’t obey God’s command and instead took his own path, the Prophet Samuel said to him, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
As we make our way in the world, we can choose to express our sinful selves in unrighteous stubbornness, or we can follow the Lord’s lead and join Him in righteous openness. The Lord calls us to be stubborn in faith but not in practice. Though we must never water down our doctrine to meet the world’s demands, we must be willing to open loving discussions on why we believe what we believe. We must also be willing to admit fault when it occurs. “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing” (Proverbs 29:1).
Today, reach out to someone who doesn’t necessarily share your same thoughts and ideas. Let them know they are loved despite the things that work to separate you.
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for our stubbornness born by sin. Help us to open up to others that do not share our same beliefs so that a dialog may be had that would heal wounds once shared. Amen.