Stubborn in the Spirit
Some say I’m stubborn. I prefer to think of it as purposeful, focused, like an athlete. My Mama used to say, “Gracie, you make that stubborn ol’ mule appear meek.”
I remember every time our local Carnegie library got ahold of a new Laura Ingalls-Wilder book, I was unrelenting until I had my hands on it. I was an avid reader, you know. There was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting out in our apple orchard with a Thermos of Mama’s homemade lemonade and a good book. Lawdy NO she didn’t make it from a powder! So anyways, when I got wind Miss Wilder’s work was close at hand, I got on my Mama’s last nerve naggin’ her to get me to it. First I used logic. “Please, Mama. You know my teacher says reading expands my young mind. You want me to have a big brain when I’m as old as you, don’t you?” Then I tried flattery. “You’re the best Mama in the whole world. I know you’re gonna make time real soon to take me to the library….” And I regretfully admit I finally resorted to shame. “My friend Dorothy’s mama takes her to the library every Thursday afternoon.”
But the point I’m making is those who tag me as obstinate may have a case.
But sometimes a firm stance comes in handy. In fact, depending on circumstances, maybe it’s both honorable and scriptural. I’m thinking of I Corinthians 6:12 which says, “All things are lawful for me but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.”
Folks say to me, “Gracie, you’re so strong to shun sugar.” And I respond, “I’m not strong, sister. I’m stubborn!” I refuse to allow that sweet addiction to dominate my mind and my flesh, and it surely does! After one tiny bite I start dreaming of Aunt Thelma’s poppy seed cake with whipped cream, Miss Burke’s famous apple crisp and my favorite, key lime pie. You see! Just mentioning that monster gives you the goody giddies, doesn’t it?!
Now I know I’ve mentioned it a time or two before, (See, I’m a bit unrelenting in my strong opinions too.) but I’ll never understand why we lure our church family down Donut Drive, week after week, right when their tummies are grumbly and willpower mighty slim. Why trigger temptation and blithely broadside our brothers? So when I see those pastries all laid out nice and tidy in the fellowship hall I start praying, “Lord, I will not be dominated by sweets! Your Word promised me that when I am weak, Your strength goes into high gear. Those chocolate walnut brownies sure make me salivate, but today through the power of Your Spirit I am claiming I Corinthians 6:12. Brownies are lawful for me, but they surely are not helpful! I am free to eat anything I choose but I refuse to be dominated by any fleshly craving. My old self that would crumble at the sight of a cookie has been crucified. I am a new creation. It is no longer I who lust for lemon bars, but the Son of the living God lives in me. I no longer am enslaved to sugar and its deceitful draw, for I know it does not satisfy! By Your grace alone, I am free from addiction. And as Brother John’s letter proclaims in the 8th chapter, 6th verse, “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”
Glory halleluiah, Church! By the unlimited power of the Almighty, you are free indeed! Just like Brother Paul declared to the Corinthians, you need not be dominated by anything except Jesus’ everlasting love!
Oh saints, my heart goes atwirl when I ponder the powerful transformed life we can experience when we surrender to the Spirit. So when there’s a powder sugar pastry you are heartily hankerin’, hunker down and get stubborn in the Spirit. Claim His strength in your sugar addiction. Proclaim aloud, “I will not be dominated by donuts!”
Live Well, Church.
*Interesting tidbit: Thermos was founded in 1904 in Germany.