Some people just cannot be moved. A man renowned for his stubbornness had made up his mind that he was dead. He held to this opinion in spite of the contrary reasoning of his friends, neighbors, and family. Worried, the family members had the man see a psychiatrist. The mental analyst used every technique he could to no avail — his client still believed he was dead. Finally, the psychiatrist said, “Dead men don’t bleed.” Then he pricked his client and both of them watched as the blood freely flowed.

The psychiatrist folded his arms and smiled, “Well, what do you have to say about that?”

“You are mistaken, sir. Dead men do bleed after all!”

Being stubborn can be a good thing; it just depends on what we are stubborn about. The Apostle Paul was stubborn about serving the Lord. When he expressed his desire to visit Jerusalem, his Christian counterparts warned him that his trip was ill-advised. The Holy Spirit had warned them of the dangers awaiting Paul on his visit. They meant well and cared about the apostle’s well-being. But for all of their efforts, Paul would not be persuaded. He was stubborn. The believers finally conceded to Paul’s desire, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

It takes a strong individual to stay his course and do what he feels God is calling him to do in the face of opposition. Conversely, it takes a wise individual to allow a friend the freedom to follow the Lord as he feels led, even if it goes against what he or she thinks is best.

Has God been directing you to follow a certain course of action? Are you determined to follow Him, even if friends and family urge you against it? Be stubborn — too strong to be swayed — for the right reasons. Do you know someone who has set their heart on something you consider unwise for the sake of Christ? Lovingly share your feelings, but be wise enough to know when to back off and let the will of God be done. If a person is following the Lord, He will see to it that they are led in the right direction.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.