Tough or Strong? // A Devotion
It’s finally spring! Break out the short-sleeved shirts and flip-flops, ladies! That’s right, I said ladies because this is another devotion for the girls. I apologize for this being so late in the month, as I like for my devotions to be the first post, but this one took more work, lol! Today, I want us to think about something that’s bothered me a lot lately…Let’s dive in. *All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible*
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
(Please read Prov. 31:10-31)
Tough: Hard to convince or influence, stubborn; overly aggressive, brutal or rough.
Froward: Difficult to deal with, contrary. (Psalm 18:26,32)
Strong: Not easily affected or upset; morally powerful; having strength of character; durable; not weak.
After reading these definitions, which do you think describes yourself? In all honesty, the above description of “tough” shouldn’t even describe a man, much less a young lady! Real strength comes from the Lord, and every Christian should possess it. Let’s look at what God says a Christian lady should be like.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Of course, we unmarried girls, don’t have husbands or children of our own to love, but we should still follow the example of Godly women who do. And who better to practice on than the family God has placed us in?
Toughness (or forwardness in the Bible) doesn’t become a Christian. Today the world puts an emphasis on the “Independent, Empowered, Tough-as-nails Girl-boss.” No offense, but that just doesn’t appeal to me! That sounds like a woman that would step on anyone who got in her way with no care for the long-term effects of her actions, or the pain she causes others.
Strength is the quality we should long to display. But what is biblical strength? Well, it’s the opposite of toughness 😉 Let’s take a look at Matthew 5:38-41
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
The world would tell us that the woman who ignores a personal insult is intimidated and victimized when in reality, she is one of the strongest women out there. Human nature insists on personal justice, so when you ignore the insult, you are showing that you are stronger and more mature than most. (Also, just to clarify, when the verse talks about letting someone hit you on the cheek, that is akin to an insult, not allowing someone to beat you up. If someone is trying to inflict harm on you, get away from them!)
When we respond like the world, we are telling them there is no difference between them and the Christian community. And that is not the message we should convey! Everything we do, everything we say, it should all point people to Christ! WWJD was a popular saying at one time. But think about it. Pick any situation that you might be tempted to respond to with an “I’m gonna show them what I’m made of!” attitude, and ask yourself how Jesus would handle it. Remember, the only time Jesus displayed anger was not over the personal insults he received. It was over the desecration of the temple, His Father’s House. Likewise, we should always handle ourselves in a godly manner.
And we should always take into consideration that we are ladies. Therefore, we should respond with meekness. (That’s power under control.) You are strongest when you keep your cool, remain pleasant, and calmly walk away from adversity. Am I saying that it’s wrong to stand up for your beliefs and biblical principles? Not at all! It’s just wrong to get into a shouting match with your opposition. Always handle yourself as if Jesus were right there observing the whole thing…because He is.
What do you picture when you hear the word Tough? It may be different from one person to another, but here is what I imagine…
Thick, dry, crackled skin, kinda like a rhinoceros. A person with tattoos and a dirty mouth. A gangster. Broken glass (not sure why…) Mud, overall uncleanliness. Pit-Bulls. Black clothing…and a heart pleading for someone to help them get out of this mess they are in.
Here’s what I picture when I hear the word Strong.
The American Flag. A President. A Servicemember. A First Responder. A Preacher, never backing down on Biblical and moral principles. A Mother, daring to raise children and keep her house in order. A Farmer, living off the land of his fathers’. A Missionary in a closed country preaching the Gospel to the unreached. Security. A parent holding their child keeping them from falling.
Which picture would you like your face to show up in?
Which statement would you like to have made about you?
“Boy! I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side!”
“Did you see the way she handled that situation? She must be a Christian.”
Are you pleased with what others think of you? Why or why not? Are you Tough or Strong?
Until Next Time,
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Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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