Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Perseverance Versus Steadfastness

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader Becky P. who explained the difference between perseverance and steadfastness on the comment board of “Dear God: On Perseverance“:

I had a really hard weekend and I’ve noticed those too well known symptoms of my depression, starting to hit me, full force. After several nights of not sleeping, looking for answers and not finding any, listening and not hearing the voice of God (though I know he’s there), a headache for the past two days that makes me want to rip my face off.
I was just reminded that God is in control and the answer that will help me to get through these rough times, is perseverance. I’ve been thinking about it wrongly. I try to think of steadfastness as my word that motivates me, inspires me, and steadfast is what I want to be. And then when I make a lousy mistake, I absolutely know that I’m not steadfast. Which makes me very aware of my shortcomings. I think a better word for me is perseverance. God is steadfast and faithfull to us. And the only way we ever will become steadfast is to persevere. If I have any hope to be steadfast I must first persevere through the heartaches of life.

  • Lynn

    Steadfast to me means clinging to or standing for one principal or idea. I suppose that that is good except that it sort of closes one off from anything new. It never allows for something different. Never allows for new vision. Perservance on the other hand, makes me think of moving forward, perhaps coming up aganist roadblocks, but being open to taking another way, finding anyway to go on, allowing new thought and ideas to keep you moving onward.Perservance allows for a bit of imperfection whereas steadfastness does not.You can fail and still perserver. There is no room for failure in being steadfast. Which is good for somethings(I guess). Just my opinion of course. :)

  • susan

    I really like what you had to say here about perseverance vs steadfastness. I am about to embark on a career change (which is at once scary and exciting) and have been muddling over how perseverance is such a necessary element towards reaching my goal. Because the journey ahead can seem so long and daunting, shifting the perspective to a positive one by recognizing challenges as opportunities to progress, as you have done here, is just the type of empowerment one needs to persevere. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wisdum

    Steadfastness is a fantasy, only relevent to determination, and perseverance (typical of strong-willed children, who will do what they want to do, when thet want to do it, and how they want to do it) The big lesson in Life has to also include discernment. that is the realization that Life is never going to be all that we want it to be. It will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try. To continue to try will lead into depression and all kinds of dis-ease and dis-order.
    The perception that gets me through everything, goes like this. I am not perfect, and I probably never will be (only God is perfert, I am not God!) I all that I do I uset this criteria …
    1- Do the best that I can do
    2- With what I have to work with
    3- In the most economical and practical fashion
    4- Mistakes are inevitable, do not dwell on them
    5- Calm down, anger and worry solve nothing
    6- Assess the situation, to see what can be done to fix the problem
    There is nothing more than that, I can expect from myself, and I am secure in that (and don’t give a crap, what anybody else thinks !)
    LUV 2 ALL

  • becky p

    When I wrote that comment, I was starting to slip into some of those bad places that I had been before.
    And then on Monday, driving home from school, I totaled my car, and walked out without a scratch on me.
    Since Thanksgiving I had been thinking about gratefulness and the beyond blue post on gratefulness and thinking that my list of stuff to be grateful for, kinda sucked. (diet pepsi, grey’s anatomy, knowing I have a purpose in God’s kingdom even though I don’t exactly know what it is, etc.)
    The car crash not only brought me new hope that God’s not done with me on this earth and that he spared my life for a reason. But, it also restored my faith in other people, something that had been greatly diminished over the past 6 months. People went out of their way to help a complete stranger. I was on a twisty canyon road where cell phone reception is scarce and God made it possible for me to be surrounded with help. There was at least 4 people directing traffic around my overturned vehicle, one woman drove at least a mile to use her cell phone to call for help, one woman had me sit in her car because I was shaking. The CHP officer that arrived first at the scene happened to be someone that went to my church even though I was in a town at least 45 minutes away from my church! He gave me a much needed hug, and a ride home.
    The next day my best friend told me he was concerned about me because I didn’t seem that upset over everything (he’s seen me go through really tough times). He didn’t understand or believe that I could think of the car crash as a good thing.
    The point to this long story is this: I have hope. Because I have hope, I persevere. I can walk away from a bad car accident with hope for the future, because I’m trusting in something bigger than me. And that’s pretty cool to see.
    That’s what I love about this blog. I’ve only been reading it for about a month, but it’s built up my hope that things will get better, and that I must persevere through these hard times.
    Becky P

  • Margaret Balyeat

    re:Wisdum For once I’m not going to argue with you :-) What a WONDERFuL set of standards to live by! And Lynn, if you apply Wisdum’s runric to steadfastness, there IS INDEED room for failure. Doing the best that one can with whatever one has to work with only gaurantees the attempt, not the success. Are you perhaps confusing steadfastness with perfectionism? If you arem you’re only setting yourself up for more heartache and depression. From what you’ve shared previusly iconcerning your difficult life, I’d say you are a very steadfast woman, and I’m sure George and youe daughter would agree! Don’t be so hard on yourself. One of the lines from the affirmation I used to have my students recite as a part of oour opening to each day was :”I like me the way I am, but I can change to be even better.” As long as we recognize that fact and give ourselves credit for doing our very best, we’ll be taking one more step down the road to becoming “better”

  • mz

    Thanks for a great blog. I’ve been fighting seasonal depression for more than 20 years. It always seems to come around October and lift around March. I thought it was SAD and it might be. What I’ve noticed though is that it’s when these periods arrive that I return, scurrying like a little dog trying to get closer to his Master. It’s during these periods that I really start to pray and believe in Him.
    For the first time in as many years, I’ve finally learned to surrender my pride, my ego and my ambitious nature. My scary thoughts during the depressive periods were concerning losing my job and not being able to get another. Can you imagine 20 years of that? Now I know that all my success, starting with my very life comes from God. He’s always had his hand on my shoulder. I now realize I never did anything on my own. All that I’ve done and have was a gift from Him. I now thank God for the depression because He allowed it in order to bring me closer to His light. So, when it comes down to perseverence or steadfastness, whatever the definition, I agree we need stay on course but please know that it’s all for a purpose.
    Again, thanks for a great blog.

  • Larry Parker

    So glad the angels were with you and that you are safe and sound.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    walking away from a face-to face encounter with death is indeed humbling and eye-opening, especially since you were blessd enough to “walk away without a scratch.” (Notice I used the word “blessed” as opposed to “lucky” or “fortunate”) I’m glad it has become an epiphany for you; that’s not always the case. I m also a believer that these kinds of incidents are a “tap on the shoulder from our Maker to remind us of his presence in our lives and the way we react is indicitive of our spiritual standing at that particular moment. I also FIRMLY aver that we die when it’s our appoihnted time and not before unless we take matters into our own hands because the pain of living has become too difficult to face for another day. When I had my stroke in 2003, the doctors were all AMAZED that I had surviveddue to both the specific location and the severity of the stroke. It’s been more difficult for me to adopt your sweet, faithful response because I DIDN’T walk away without a scratch and the changes that encounter brought to my life have made it EXTREMELY difficult to believe there is still a way for me to fulfill His purpose for leaving me here, and I still have MANY days when I think it would have been better for both myself and my family if I HADN’T survived. Because I years ago figured out that the gifts He gave me were suited best to serving children, I became a public school teacher and devoted thirty tears of my life to that end in a difficult urban school distroct in a city which the media a few years back dubbed
    “The Worst City in America” (Now, I’m not saying I believe that hype, but we HAVE had more than our share of ills….racism…poverty…drigs… mostly poverty-stricken single-parent homes…an ineffectual government AND school system with one of the highest drp[pit rates in the nation…civil unrest…high crime rate, etc. And although my stroke didn’t kill my body, it did destoy the essence of my being since it forced me into retirement, left me with frontal-lobe brain damage and hemiparalysis which have required my family members to become my care-givers and ripped away what I believe my purpose here on earth was meant to be…inspiring children to live productive lives and educating them so they can be prepared to live them. It also robbed me of many of the things which I found personally enjoyable and edifying since I now have only the use of one arm (playing the piano, writing, cooking and baking I’m sure there’s a lesson in the miserable state of my current existence, but, unlike you, I have yet to find itin spite of the soul-searching I’ve undertaken. I’m happy for you that this is not your circumstance and am sure you’ll figure out what is meant for you to still accomplish if you continue with the spirit of gratitude your comments indicate. I celebrate with you and send hugs as well as prayers that your confusion will disipate. Stick around with the rest of us “BBers”; Therese has a magical way of providing us with EXACTLY what we need on a daily basis, and my fellow responders are a great bunch of people based on the things they share!

  • TickleMeMoe

    After several nights of not sleeping, looking for answers and not finding any, listening and not hearing the voice of God (though I know he’s there), a headache for the past two days that makes me want to rip my face off.
    Thank you for that honest and blunt description of a horrible migraine.
    You put into words, the way I have been feeling, but unable to share it with my husband so he could relate (or try) to what i’m dealing with.
    And thanks for the chuckle I experienced from the last line, it felt good to laugh while feeling in psych with knowing exactly that feeling having experienced it.

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