True Grit


1955 GRIT

In the fifties, GRIT was a weekly newspaper that my mother bought faithfully. As a child, I was always impressed with its importance because my mother would sit down and immediately start reading. It was sold for a dime and  contained some news, women’s fashions, a comics section, human-interest stories, and recipes.

The word “grit” has stuck with me over the years. It is not a word often used to describe someone and is not a word found in the Bible. “True Grit” was also the title of a popular movie for which John Wayne won an Oscar for Best Actor. Even his name in the movie, “Rooster Cogburn,” connotes grit.

However, I believe some scriptures fall under the umbrella of grit. The word means holding steadfast to a goal even when there are bumps in the road. Progress is often slow, but it may matter more than knowledge, skill, or luck.

Paul had grit, as the reader can tell in I Corinthians 9:27:  “No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

True grit is a trait we Christians seek because the phrase combines biblical terms such as “press onward” and  “…fought the good fight.” Here are some ways to develop true grit:

Understand that God is in charge, no matter what. Great leaders in the Bible were great because they showed grit by their actions. Abraham lived in tents, Moses wandered in the wilderness with the rest of Israel, and Deborah was a judge and prophetess who led the Israelites during a difficult time. All of these showed grit.

Look for the positive in life experiences. Jesus responded to the woman caught in adultery by saying, “Go and sin no more.” He did not dwell on the sin she had committed, but rather how she could live the rest of her life.

Find role models who demonstrate the traits of grit. Look for people who inspire you to be a better person and to persevere by the way they live.

John Glenn was a true American hero. He was the first American to orbit the earth and was a distinguished pilot during World War II, as well as serving as U.S. Senator for 24 years. Certainly he demonstrated grit. It is probably no accident that he watched the movie “True Grit” ten times.

Perhaps President Reagan described grit best when he spoke of the seven who perished in the Challenger disaster: “They had that special grace, that special spirit that says, ‘Give me a challenge and I’ll meet it with joy.’”