Vol.XIV No.IV Pg.3
June 1977


Dan S. Shipley

The man in Christ is exactly where he needs to be. That is where he needs to stay. Remaining in that relationship takes what I have chosen to call STAYBILITY--staying with what is right at all times and at all costs. For a lack of staying-ability many Christians have turned back to a wrong life, liberalism or false-religion.

Staybility is needed in the time of temptation. None are exempt from the allurements and enticements that would pull us away from the Lord. Joseph wasn't. Yet he exemplifies the kind of staybility we all need in asking, "how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9). For him, and often for us, staybility may mean fleeing. If so, we'd best quickly take the "exit" pro-vided by the Lord (1Cor.10: 13). Many temptations come as the result of keeping the wrong kind of company (1 Cor. 15:33). Staying with the Lord may require leaving evil companions. As Paul warns, "be not deceived". Many Christians are. They think their indiscriminate mixing with the world won't hurt, but it always does. Liver so gradually, resistance to temptation is weakened; spiritual values become diluted; what seems like staying is drifting--and often so deceptively as to be denied. Accordingly, staybility is complimented by honest self-examination (2 Cor. 13:5).

Staybility is needed when things go wrong between brethren. Here, it may mean staying instead of leaving, as brethren often do. Those who jump up and leave at the slightest rumble prove themselves undependable and are likely to become church "floaters" or spiritual dropouts. Staybility means longsuffering, kindness, forbearance, love and forgiveness--none of which can be expressed by the impulsive quitter. Personal differences need not mean division; should not; and will not where there' is staybility in humility! Those with super-sensitive feelings will seldom be without something to take offense at in the midst of fault-laden brethren. But leaving changes little more than the scenery. Staying (staybility) can help them and their weak brethren to be stronger if they so will it and work at it.

Staybility is needed in times of discouragement. Most will admit to being vulnerable here. Much of it comes from dwelling on past failures, sins and weaknesses; in remembering what is best repented of and forgotten. Bad yesterdays cannot be relived so, with Paul, we need to be "forgetting the things which are behind, and (be) stretching forward to the things which are before..." (Phi1.3: 13). The staybility is strengthened by forget-ability. But even then, discouragement can come from elsewhere. It may come from brethren who know better but won't do better; it may come from the criticizers and complainers; or it may even come as the result of feeling unwanted or unneeded. Like Elijah, we may feel like throwing in the towel. But God says, "STAY! "be not weary in well-doing"; "be stedfast, unmovable". He wants for us a staybility that is above the influence of men and circumstance. And He deserves it!