Stubborn as a Mule

I grew up loving to arm wrestle. It wasn’t like I always won or anything, but I was pretty good at not allowing others to win. I may not have had strength to put someone down, but I had strength to hold them. I had a gift of resistance.

If I am not careful, this “gift” can easily carry over into everyday life and manifest itself as stubbornness. It has been said of me for as long as I can remember that I am stubborn. Unfortunately, I began to own the term, almost lightheartedly claiming it as my own personal carry-on luggage. However, every time I admit it, sense it, and claim it I feel that twinge of conviction. Thank You, Holy Spirit.

“…stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

Idolatry!! I may not bow down to a statue, but am I bowing down to my own wants more than God’s…or anyone else’s? It is pretty much me setting up my will on a pedestal and worshipping it!

That makes me want to cry and throw up at the same time. I have even quoted this verse to my kids and others—all the while knowing in the back of my mind it was for me—but have I tried to casually brush it off like it doesn’t apply to me? Often I believe that we glory in our shame, somehow making light of and finding humor in our personal struggles to avoid the conviction we want to ignore. Well, I am tired of it.

Transparency is my best way of dealing with things, so I am just laying it out on the table. I naturally want to do what you tell me I can’t, and I don’t want to even try what you tell me I should. I struggle with stubbornness so badly sometimes that I psych myself out, trying to resist my own tendency…ending up in a ridiculous tailspin. AAHHHH!!!!

I daresay that I am not the only one struggling. May we continue to struggle and not just cave into defeat. May the gift of resistance be directed at the enemy and our flesh, as we choose to surrender our will to the Lord’s. Help, Jesus!! We want to please You!

Father, I don’t want to resist Your leading. I don’t want to halfway obey You, all the while clinging to my ways. I don’t want to be stubborn. I seek humility and righteousness. I seek You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


1 Samuel 15:23

Philippians 3:19

Zephaniah 2:3

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