There was once a upon a time where being called a “ stubborn girl who stands her ground” would have been a compliment. Pride would swell up inside of me and a Beyonce song would start playing out of nowhere singing the tune to my heart.
???? I’m a survivor
I’m not gon give up
I’m not gon stop
I’m gon work harder ????
Come onnn… it’s just so catchy!!
You see, stubborn girls are kind of cool now. They stick to their guns, they can say what they feel, they can choose their own path, they can act as they please. Unfortunately for me the seemingly harmless melody that rang in my ears ( although very catchy) would only reveal my yearn to be firm, strong, and not easily swayed. You may be asking well what’s the problem?
Well for me, it was no bueenno.
Subtle lies surfaced that would ultimately blurry the line and make no distinction between a stubborn girl and a woman of conviction.
Stubbornness by definition is described with the words: unreasonable, headstrong, pig-headed, unbending, and strong willed.
When I look upon the countless times where I have stood firm in my stubbornness, not willing to bend, or be reasonable. I cringe. Those moments are not filled with the spirit of God within me, in fact the person that I see trying to stand her ground knows nothing about humility and grace. She wants to win and gain security in herself by proving to those around her that she is strong, and can pick herself up by her own bootstraps.
Stubbornness loves to prove.
What often comes trailing behind my stubbornness is a freedom with my words choice, because I have to say whatever I can to prove my side and prove my strength.
This is also, no bueno.
James 3:7-8 ESV
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue.
As humans, we have been given a gift to be able to speak, and develop relationships with others through communication.
James is reminding us that our tongue is a powerful gift! A gift that holds a very big responsibility. The words we speak can be flames that shine a bright light, or a raging fire that burns whatever is in it’s path.
Often what I have found in groups with women is we read through James and we get to the part of “ taming your tongue”. We read through, some are uncomfortable, and others chuckled awkwardly giving away that they have been in the boxing ring before.
My question to the discomfort and awkward chuckles is:
How can we make sure to read this and not be weighed down by the shame or guilt of our past words that inflicted pain, but instead be transformed by the power of Christ in us?
To be transformed out of being Stubborn Girls who are arrogant in their ways and cannot tame their tongues, and into being Women of Conviction who speak life.
A woman of conviction knows the ground in which she walks, she knows it is a firm foundation that is not easily moved, she knows that when an opposing view is fired her way there is no need to put the gloves on for a fight.
This woman of conviction is gracious with her words, and even though she may not always agree with the other team, she does not put them down, but has a softened heart to learning the minds of those around her.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
My challenge for you in this post is to encourage you that putting on the boxing gloves is not inherently wrong. It is a wonderful thing to stand feet planted on the ground for your convictions, but the key is to grow in wisdom when it is time to put those gloves on.
These reminders help me in the moments when going into the boxing ring looks tempting:
- Learn what hill is worth dying on.
- Understand that it’s better to have relationships than to be right.
- Look at Christ
Jesus was firm, strong, and not easily swayed.
His punches were gentle and firm.
Yet he left unmistakable marks wherever he went.