Meeting one of my neighbors in the elevator, a beautiful actress with a charming personality, we somehow began a conversation about perseverance. Although I hadn't seen her in a while, she was always gracious when we ran into each other. As we took the elevator together we began a short conversation about maintaining faith in the current economic climate. Given her profession, the motivation was being directed towards her rather than to me. And then, of course, the conversation turned to men.
I said, “When the economy is struggling it is much more difficult on men. They have a harder time not linking their self-esteem to money and job security. This makes it harder to date, and much more difficult to find the one who you may prefer to date.” Then, she said something I truly considered profound.
She said, “It may actually be better to date a guy who is having an issue finding work; it tells you more about their character and their ability to survive under fire. It tells you more about what kind of person they really are, than if they have a job where they are doing fine.” As we left the elevator to go our separate ways, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Not necessarily the dating part, but definitely the character and ability to survive under fire part.
Today’s verse says God allows travail or hardship so men can be exercised or tested while under duress. Duress causes all types of issues to arise. It offers a clear indication whether the person is strong, patient, kind, moral, and sincere; all while maintaining integrity and a passionate ability to persevere when the chips are down. Or, it can prove that they are less experienced and can only function when everything in their life is going as planned. -This information is truly relevant. Why? Because the chips are going to be down eventually. At some point during our life experience, things will not go as we planned. It is simply the nature of being alive. A man’s reaction to adversity will tell you more about him than when life is flowing smoothly as planned.
I even had to reconsider the dating part; because, not having the financial resources to do extravagant things enables a couple to learn more about each other and not about what money can buy. It forces intimate conversations about dreams and plans, while adding candid discussions about financial issues. Both sexes can learn a great deal about the other by not having the funds to do those things which can deter their focus from more serious issues. Struggling financially to make ends meet can definitely tell you a great deal about your potential mate and whether you want to commit or dismiss a future with him or her.
Duress can reveal those key personality traits we really need to discover about each other before making a permanent commitment. Traits such as, deeply rooted anger, frustration, resentment, or even violence. It can unmask our true character, bringing it out into the open. Just as Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times, God has given us exercises in travail to shape the strength of our character. And, those same issues can reveal the character of a man or woman to determine whether he or she can become your life partner. Be wise in determining their true character in travail, it can mean the difference between having a lifelong lasting relationship, or having a lifelong lacking relationship. L.
Study Reference: Ecclesiastes 3:10
From:"The Journey." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell