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 Vol. 7, No. 4 

April 2005

~ Page 10 ~


By Raymond Elliott

There are times when an individual has to be steadfast, not giving ground but remaining unmovable in doctrine and in morality (1 Corinthians 15:58). The writer James (1:6-8) condemned the double minded man, unstable in all his ways and compared him to the surge of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. Jesus, in praising John the Baptist asked the question, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?" (Matthew 7:11). The apostle Paul encouraged spiritual maturity and that Christians should no longer be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-16). There is a great need for stability among saints in this present age.

However, there are times when an individual needs to bend with certain winds of circumstances. If he doesn't, he is liable to break. Some people are so set on being stern, no matter what, that they have become miserable in life. Confucius wrote, "The grass must bend when the wind blows across it." We have to learn to be flexible concerning things that we cannot control or change. There are disappointments that we must accept in life. Most of us have planned a trip at one time or the other and something happened that prevented us from doing so. There is the example of an individual who seemingly was in perfect health but contracted a crippling disease that prevented him from participating in sports. Either he learns to bend or he will eventually break. There are events that occur in our lives that truly test our adaptability. The Old Testament character, Joseph, stands out as an example of one who learned to lean and bend with the winds of bitter trials. If we can truly believe that God is able to make all things work out for the eternal welfare of his children (Romans 8:28), we will indeed enjoy life better and more fully. Adversaries come and go. No one is immune from disease and disappointments. How you accept them and learn to live with them is the true test of how strong and flexible you really are in life. "O God, give us serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other" (Reinhold Neibuhr).Image

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