James 1:1-4

“If this is another character-building experience, I think I’ve built enough character.” So said a friend of mine going through one of those what-else-is-going-to-happen periods of life. We’ve all been through them. Really?! Another shoe is dropping? 

Let me use a very non-biblical analogy. I am in the recruiting business; our firm finds leaders for non-profit arts and cultural organizations. In discussing characteristics of their next leader, trustees generally offer the expected: ability to raise money, keen staff management, strong communication skills. What is almost always missing from the list? Grit. Tenacity. Or as James calls it, perseverance. In the hundreds of leaders we have observed, perseverance is the most reliable predictor of success. And in conversations with leaders in the field going through truly difficult organizational challenges, I will often note, “This is likely positioning you well for your next job. You’ll highlight it on your résumé.” And they always do. Perseverance is learned through such times.

James tells us the same thing about our faith: be thankful for the challenges. This is really, really hard to do in the midst of a loss, an illness, a betrayal, or any of the myriad of trials that come to us. But oddly, feeling gratitude for the difficulty can help us see that there is an end to it. A few verses later, James reminds us that listening to the word isn’t enough. We must go and do what it says. Grit. Tenacity. Perseverance. It’s a sacred thing.


What experience in your life taught you grit and perseverance? 


God, I really don’t want to thank you for this big difficulty in my life, but I’m going to try. Amen.

Source link