Spiritual ruggedness

Think of Paul. The shipwrecks, imprisonments, and floggings he endured would have sent most men scurrying back to the safer territory of commonly accepted dogmas and not-so-radically-spiritual religious beliefs. But that early Christian said of those hardships, "None of these things move me." Acts 20:24. To thrive in the midst of trials like Paul's takes a deep understanding of God's care, coupled with a special quality that might be called "spiritual ruggedness."

If attainable only by Paul and a few other biblical giants, spiritual ruggedness would be of small consequence today. But it's a strength possible to us because God, who is Spirit, expresses Himself through man. A facet of the true Christlike nature of man as God has made him, spiritual strength is possible for each of us in the degree we vigorously claim it. The individual who knows himself actually to be the man God made has all the stamina, strength, resilience—the spiritual ruggedness—he needs. As we realize that man is really the reflection of God, Life, who is the source of all spiritual qualities, each of us has what it takes to get to the top of any mountainous challenge. Even if it is hard or unpopular, we can stand for the truth, and we can successfully rout from thought whatever is weak or spineless.

April 30, 1984

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