As an airplane was on its way to Paris, a report came in about heavy fog in “the City of Lights.” The fog was so severe that landing the plane in Paris was completely out of the question. So, the aircraft was diverted to another city about 190 miles away where the passengers were to be carried home by charter busses. Now, most passengers would be upset by the delay but would probably understand the situation the airline was in. At least the company was professional enough to offer the people a nice bus ride to their destination.
However, when the plane finally landed, over 20 passengers refused to get off the plane and demanded that they be taken to Paris by air. The flight attendants were going to remain on the aircraft but the passengers became so troublesome that even the attendants left. To try to get the people out of the plane, bathrooms were locked, the power was turned off, and the people were left in the dark. The disgruntled people staged this protest for four hours, which was probably longer than the bus ride would have been. After this hissy fit, the people still ended up leaving the plane, walked onto a bus, and headed home to Paris, a place they could have been at hours ago had they not been so completely and utterly stubborn.
While we may not have been stubborn in this situation, most of us can be quite obstinate. Usually it comes out with our spouse, friends, siblings, or parents. The problem is, this frequently shows its ugly face with spiritual things as well. See, if the church isn’t doing things as someone sees fit, then stubbornness will often kick in and problems will occur. Let’s not confuse obedience and service to the Lord with bull-headed stubbornness of our own personal opinions.
Problems are going to happen. Issues will occur. There will always be disagreements. The question is, how are we going to handle them? Are we going to be stubborn and stiff-necked like the airline passengers, or are we going to work together for a solution? When we choose the latter, we will be better for it (Psalm 133). This is what unity is all about (1 Corinthians 1:10; Hebrews 13:1). Let’s close with the excellent words of Romans 12:16-18, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”