There's a fine line it seems between stubbornness and determination. The one quality that separates the two, according to dictionary definitions, is thought process. Stubbornness arises from unreasonable and unyielding decisions. Determination arises from a careful thought process. Stubbornness is viewed as a weakness in one's character that often leads to problems or loss. Determination is strength of character that leads to victory.
Consider this true story; I grew up with two older brothers. I loved and adored them and did my best to keep up with them despite the age differences of five and seven years. Anything they could do, I believed I could do.
One summer day, when I was about eight years old, I set out to prove this - to myself mostly. We lived on a high bank of the Vermillion River. On the bend of the river, my brothers had set up a diving board where they skillfully dived into the deep water and with powerful strokes swam easily to shore. I, on-the-other-hand, was skilled at floating and dog-paddling.
As my brothers stood on the sandy shore, talking and laughing, I walked boldly unto the diving board on the oppostie shore and dived. I surfaced quickly but the current was surprisingly strong. The deep dark waters swirled pulling me under and quickly down stream. I didn't have strength to swim across to the sandy shore where my brothers stood; therefore I headed for the high bank which was a little closer. Although I feared drowning, I did not cry for help. As I dog-paddled against the angry current trying desperately to reach shore, my brothers were unaware of my dilemma.
Today, as I look back on that incident, it's clear to see that it was stubbornness that got me into the swift current; into trouble and almost cost my life. Determination got me to shore; to safety although not totally on my own power - God strengthened me.
We go through life stubbornly (or stiff-necked as the Bible puts it) doing what we believe is right, unwilling to look around and see that God is there for us. He has great plans for us; plans to prosper us; plans to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) But it takes determination to hang unto our faith.
What a foolish little girl I was; I amost threw away my life because of stubbornness. I would have lost the great plans God had in store for me. I'm glad He saved me because today I live the victorious life He had planned just for me.