I recently read an article about the “nail houses” in China. These houses are located in an area of construction and development. However, the owner has refused to accept any form of compensation that was offered by road builders or other land developers. They hold out for more money or resist on the basis of some principle understood only by them. But the construction project goes on around them!
These dwellings look incredibly funny. I saw pictures of a four-lane highway totally finished with bright white striping running up and down the road. And yet, there dead center of the freeway is a three-story house sitting all by itself. These homes stand out like a nail that can’t be hammered down…thus the name.
Those homeowners who refused to budge remind me of many Christians (myself included). The Spirit of God approaches us, we are nudged to change an attitude or behavior, but we resist. Oh, we might have some inconsequential reason but the truth is, we are stubborn.
The Bible often refers to that stubbornness as the act of being “stiff-necked.” And there are consequences for such behavior. To that point, Proverbs 29:1 reminds us “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed-without remedy.”
So, this week the questions are: Where and how am I being stubborn? Do I look like a “nail house” sticking up in the middle of a freeway to my friends or family members? What am I impeding with my stiff-necked attitude? What can I adjust so my heart and mind reflect a more flexible and workable spirit?
Once we have a clearer picture of our particular brand of stubbornness, we need to be committed to rooting it out. Maybe, you could pray with me:
“Lord, I don’t want to look silly like those dumb “nail houses.” I do not want to impede the spiritual construction project you are doing in my life. Please use the spot light of your Spirit to point out my stubbornness and help me to change.”