Resilience Image


Resilience became the new buzz word a few years ago. It is an important concept, particularly for those of us in missions and ministry.

Regrettably, however, many of us were sent into our work with the words of George Whitfield (the early British and American preacher of the Great Awakening) ringing in our ears,

“I would rather wear out than rust out.”

This can destroy us because there are multiple historic realities that this isolated sentence leaves out.

First, there was no electricity enabling Mr. Whitefield to work constantly. Candles were expensive, fires are terrible to read by. So, he had to work according to the daylight. Then, he rested.

Second, he got a lot of exercise. He needed to walk or ride a horse nearly everywhere.  Both are good physical exercise and supplied plenty of fresh air.

I could go on but instead let me exhort us to please get rid of this de-contextualized lie from the enemy because George had a good work/life balance. It is just not fun to put in a history book.  And after all, the enemy does love it when we are sidelined!

So, Resilience is not the workaholic.

Instead, Resilience is:

  1. Courageously noticing what needs to be changed and moving forward with those changes.
  2. Having 1, 2, or 3 trusted advisors, mentors, or friends who speak into our life regularly with truth and wisdom.
  3. A multi-dimensional approach to life not merely over-utilizing our strengths in one domain.
  4. It must be reality-based and take space/time into consideration as God Designed.
  5. It must be continually attending, assessing, and adjusting.
  6. It is the ability to flex or bounce back without losing one’s fundamental shape, character, or principles.
  7. Resilience is being growth oriented rather than having a fixed mindset.
  8. Resilience plays, has fun, knows how to enjoy life.

Finally, true resiliency knows that suffering has a purpose… whether we see it clearly or at all in this life.  Resilience knows that our great and loving Father holds us closely in all things.

For more about George Whitefield see:


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