DEVELOPING ENDURANCE IS A BIBLICAL VIRTUE - The Secret Ingredient to A Winning Faith
A Quitter Never Wins
We live in a world of quitters. Quitting is one of the few things in life that disgusts me. We quit our marriages. We quit our jobs. We quit our churches, and no one seems to notice or care. What happened to seeing a project to the end and following through on your commitments?
Winners, whether in faith, marriage, life, or career have one thing in common—Grit—the stubborn refusal to quit. You don’t have to be the best to win in life. You simply have to outlast the weaker rest; the quitters who pollute our churches Sunday after Sunday and sit anonymously while others carry the heavy load. Grit, a.k.a. endurance, is one character trait of Jesus we don’t hear about much in churches but one we must reclaim as we seek to imitate Jesus.
Several times a year we strategically release one of my keynotes as a Men in the Arena Podcast episode. This podcast is a message I gave at Boones Chapel Baptist Church near Prattville, Alabama in March of 2021. If you want to book me to keynote your men’s event, pulpit-fill, or leadership retreat, please check out the video below and visit our speaking page for info about keynote, equipping seminar and retreat topics.
The Secret to Winning
Angela Duckworth in her monumental work, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, observed that individuals high in grit were able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Her colleagues studied the GPAs of Ivy League undergraduates, dropout rate of cadets at West Point US Military Academy, and National Spelling Bee participants.
Her study concluded that grit is a better predictor of success than intelligence, talent, or anything else, which is understandable since it is a character trait of Jesus.
The Prequel of True Grit
It has been over 50 years since the 1969 classic starring John Wayne as Marshall Rooster Cogburn in his only Oscar-winning performance. Historians believe Cogburn was based on Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas, who brought in some of the toughest outlaws.
But before John Wayne was born, Jesus modeled the biblical characteristic of grit. Three times Hebrews 12:1-3 speaks of the endurance (the grit) of Jesus; “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Jesus is our model for grit. He is our example of endurance. Not John Wayne. Not Ernest Shackleton. Not Louis Zamperini. Not any man. With the Spirit of Jesus living within us, believers should be the grittiest people on the planet.
In my limited history, I have discovered that sold out followers of Jesus are the toughest, most enduring people on the planet. I’ve never met anyone with as much true grit as man who has modeled his life after Jesus Christ.
It is true. Jesus will make you more of a man than you every could have been without Him.
Stubborn Refusal to Quit
The biblical virtue of endurance—grit—is simply the stubborn refusal to quit. It is not rocket science. Simply refuse to give up. It is the easiest and the hardest thing you will ever do.
At some point most of us will come to the end of our rope. Gritty people tie a knot and hang on. Sometimes the only thing left is to draw a line in the sand and refuse to give ground, even if you are buried under it. How many have quit seconds before their prayers were answered? How many blamed God because they threw in the towel moments before the miracle?
When will we grow up… spiritually…and start acting like Jesus? When will we stubbornly refuse to quit on the things God has called us to finish without making weak excuses?
Boots on the Ground
Is there a person you have given up on? You have quit praying, quit believing, and quit hoping for: a child, parent, friend, or spouse.
Instead keep fighting in prayer, in work, and in hope!
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Becoming His Best Version,