We’ve all experienced the temptation to run when things get tough. The problem from running from our demons is that they will be waiting for us when we arrive at our new destination. We can never escape. This is what The Wisdom of Stability is about – staying put and facing our demons.
If a trial comes upon you in the place where you live, do not leave that place when the trial comes. Wherever you go, you will find that what you are running from will be ahead of you.(35)
The Wisdom of Stability is great for anyone who is contemplating leaving because they are facing trials. The wisdom in this book is that it encourages people to stay put and deal with their demons. Too often in the body of Christ (and in life in general) when we face conflict we simply pick up and move on to the next church. While we avoid the conflict in the present moment we only delay the inevitable – face the demons within or move on to the next church.
It is only by sending out deep roots that we will ever come to the place of stability necessary to deal with life’s struggles. In fact, the body of Christ is designed to help one deal with one’s inner demons. Conflict is to be worked through rather than avoided.
“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:15-20
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24
Stability is a sign of faith that Jesus can meet us and help us wherever we are. We have been conditioned here in the US to avoid stability. We leave for college far from home. After college we move to a new location for graduate school. We spend a few years traveling and working allowing our employers to relocate us at will. Then we move again to complete a terminal degree and jump right back into the work and travel motif. There is little room for stability.
What The Wisdom of Stability lacks is a discussion of the need for some to move about. While monasteries are rooted they were founded by people who were called to travel. Many of the leaders of these movements (we even call them movements) were on the move. Jesus himself was on the move and called his followers to follow him. While there are those who were told to “return home and tell of all that God has done for you” there were also those who were told “you will be my witnesses unto the Gentiles.” There is a balance that must be achieved between movement and stability.