A little while ago, I made reference to my stubbornness in one of my blog entries. A few days later, I attended the last ladies meeting at church where our pastor’s wife, Shelley, shared a brief overview of the book of Ruth, one of my favourite passages of scripture. She spoke of Ruth’s character as an example of what a godly woman should be like. The first characteristic of Ruth’s personality that she brought out was her determination. Ruth 1:18 says in part, “When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined… she stopped urging her”. So, I began to wonder, am I really stubborn or am I actually just determined? Somehow determined sounds so much better, almost godly in comparison!
I’ve been pondering this question off and on for awhile now (one would think my brain had better things to do!) so I finally went to my dictionary to see what light it could shed on the matter. The definition of stubborn included “firm” and “determined” but also “rigidly firm in will or purpose”. Ouch! I don’t like to think of myself as rigid. The definition of determined sounded better. It included “resolute”, “firm in purpose” and “free from doubt or wavering”. No mention of rigidity there.
Next, I checked my thesaurus. Synonyms for stubborn included inflexible, inexorable, obdurate (I had to look those two up in the dictionary but even the sound of them is nasty), relentless, rigid, steadfast (the only nice sounding word on the list!), unbending, uncompromising, and unyielding. Again, being determined sounded a lot better. It’s synonyms included decisive, intent, resolute, resolved, set and settled.
Hmm… Maybe I should stop trying to convince people that I’m stubborn and claim to be determined instead!