Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Dimensions of Tenacity

UV 1460/10,000 The Dimensions of Tenacity

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good
I Thessalonians 5 v 21
The Word of God asks us to test all things. No one drinks a glass of some liquid without knowing if it is good. He tests it by placing a drop on his tongue. If it is bitter, he avoids drinking it. If it tastes good and seems healthy, he drinks the whole glass. Similarly in life, we are to check if a particular course of action is good for us in the short or long term. Our standards should be that an action or series of actions must be at the least acceptable or better still, good and the best for which we should aim for in all of our conduct is perfection. We need to move from what is acceptable to the Lord to what is good and pleasing in His sight and finally, what is perfect.

We should display the tenacity to hold onto the good. There will be costs to pay, sacrifices to make, hardships and hurdles that will attempt to throw us off course and tempt us to stop holding onto the good. But we should always hold on to it or be at it. We should be willing to endure suffering and pain and to keep persevering. The same exhortation that scripture uses for marriage is used for holding onto the positive or good: cleave to what is good or cling to what is good- never let go. The second part of our spiritual software that scripture reveals is : leave what is evil or negative or let go or flee from evil. Tenacity then has two dimensions: cling to what is good and let go or overcome the clutches of evil. The evil or negativity is there in our DNA, our thoughts, in our circumstances, in our society, in our culture and in our environment. We should not get conditioned to accepting this as normal but persist in reducing, weakening, overcoming, negating and letting go of it. The other dimension is persisting in welcoming, celebrating, holding on to what is positive, wholesome, good, healthy regardless of the circumstances and challenges we face.

Tenacity implies a kind of faith that whatever be the limitations and twists we go through in life, the final outcome would be good. Tenacity requires the forethought of the maiden who made sure she had enough oil in her lamp till the Master arrived. It requires the filling and anointing of the Holy Spirit. It needs a cheerful and optimistic attitude as we wait for things to happen. It calls for faith and fortitude to face the vicissitudes of life. Tenacity is based on an unshakable belief that in the end one would triumph. To illustrate with a beautiful story: a young girl overheard her father telling her mother that they would need a miracle to get her brother undergo an expensive surgery. She went to the piggy bank and emptied it of a few coins, collected it and went to the nearby store. She asked the storekeeper, “ I need a miracle. How much would a miracle cost?” The storekeeper replied with amused silence. Just then, a well dressed gentleman bent down to her and asked her what is the miracle she needed. She replied that she needed a miracle just so her sibling undergoes a life saving surgery. The gentleman was a specialist in micro-surgery, just the kind her brother needed. He asked her, “ how much do you have to pay for the miracle?” She replied, “ One dollar and twenty cents” but added that if it was not enough she had some more money in her piggy bank. The doctor told her that money was just right and holding her hand asked her to show him the way to her house so that he could see her brother. The doctor later did the life saving surgery charging the family no more money than the precious coins the little girl had.

Prateep V Philip

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