How to Avoid Stubbornness
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How to Avoid Stubbornness
How can you know the difference between taking a stand on right principles and just plain stubbornness?
[Gary Petty] There's an old legend that's been told in many different countries, no one's ever been able to prove it's true or not. And it's about a captain of a battleship. And he's in a fleet and a heavy fog rolls in and the fleet gets separated. So they're trying to work their way through the fog and he sees a light out the distance and he says, "Send a message to tell them to change their course."
So they sent the message, "Change your course." And the message they get back is, "You change your course." The captain says, "Hey, this is wrong, they need to understand we're going to have a collision. Send the message, I'm a captain and I'm telling you to change your course." And so they send the message and what they get back is, "I'm a nobody and I'm saying, you change your course." The captain says, "I'll show them how much power I have now, I'm a battleship, change your course." The message they get back is, "I'm a lighthouse, change your course. " You know, it's an interesting story because it tells us something about stubbornness.
We all should be able to and willing to stand for principle. And there's times when we all have to make a stand. We have to say, no, this is the right thing to do and I'm going to do it, but we have to be careful. There's a fine line sometimes between making a stand for the right reason and just sort of being stubborn. It's our opinion, it's what we think, it's what we want and therefore we're going to hold on to it and this will, this strong will, this is nothing more than stubbornness.
King Saul of ancient Israel rebelled against God and God sent Samuel to talk to him. And Samuel told him that rebellion is the same as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is the same as iniquity and Idolatry. That's interesting. I mean, why would stubbornness be the same as idolatry? Well, think about it. When we're being stubborn to the point we're hurting other people, we've sort of made ourselves little gods. It's like idolatry, we worship ourselves.
My opinion is so important that I will crush you, that I will stand my ground no matter what the cost. Next time you are thinking maybe you're being a little stubborn or field is a great emotional lead to make a stand, make sure you're making it for the right reasons. Ask yourself these questions take the time when you're about to make a stand that may hurt a relationship or damage some project that you're in. Before you make that stand, ask yourself these questions. Is my position reasonable or unreasonable? Is my position objective or is it just subjective? Is it just something I feel? Is my position built on principle and integrity or on stubborn pride? And would my position hold up to the wisdom of the book of Proverbs in the Bible?
Make these assessments before you make a stand and sometimes you should make the stand and sometimes you may keep your ship from running aground.
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