Stumbling Blocks of Life

Stumbling blocks of lifeI was recently reminded about another article I was going to write on what I had learned from watching the movie A Beautiful Mind.

Go with me to the bar scene in that movie.  Nash and his classmates are sitting around a table drinking beer and talking.  In walk several girls together.  Nash and his mates all like the blonde girl—all of them want her.  And indeed the blonde is looking over at them, particularly at Nash.  But what happens?  Nash tells them: “If we all go for the blonde, we block each other and not a single one of us is going to get her…  But what if no one goes for the blonde…? That’s the only way we win.”  “The best result will come when everyone in the group does what’s best for himself AND the group” (emphasis mine).

So here we have group dynamics, and what I call one of the stumbling blocks of life.  For the sake of the group’s friendship and achieving what they also as individuals wanted, they chose to go after the other girls rather than the blonde.  But here is what I wondered.  What about the blonde girl?  How does she feel in that moment when she is rejected?

Group dynamics plays out in many areas of life—in academics, social settings, and employment.  Whether heathen or Christian, rejection after rejection because of group dynamics can take an emotional toll.  We all want to fit in and be accepted.  But you can’t force people to like you or accept you.  You also can’t beat yourself up (or them) over rejection or descend into a blue funk because of it.

So, what’s to be done about the whole group dynamics stumbling block that plays out in life?  As Christians we can take solace in realizing and knowing that we belong to a great group—the family of God.  With God, it doesn’t matter how educated, intellectual or smart you are; how pretty, tall, or thin.  Neither ethnicity nor gender matters.  There’s no sexism, racism or any other “–ism” with God.  None of that matters at all!

We must learn to set our minds on things above.  For If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)? He puts down one and exalts another (Psalm 75:7). We should seek to make our way prosperous and have good success (Josh 1:8) by meditating and uttering the Word of God; by building ourselves up on our most holy faith and praying in the spirit to keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:20-21).

When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all the other things we need will be added to us (Matt 6:32-33).  For our Heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask (Matt 6:8).  Those are some of God’s group dynamics. His is the only group that really matters, and Jesus is not a Stumbling Stone or a Rock of Offense to us who believe (Rom 9:33). Whatever dynamics and stumbling blocks exist in the world, God is over all!

While you’re here, check out my first article on what I learned from A Beautiful Mind


6 thoughts on “Stumbling Blocks of Life

  1. Enjoyed this. Great reminder about the most important group being the family of God.

    • Marsha Williams

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. I love your encouraging and biblical approach to life’s stumbling blocks and a solution to a common problem within the church.

    • Marsha Williams

      Thank you Hannah. This is what I want my website to be about–encouraging, uplifting and with a biblical approach to life. I appreciate your comment so much.

  3. Anonymous

    Good words of wisdom, Marsha. Keep the entries coming!

    • Marsha Williams

      Thank you. I appreciated your feedback.

Comments are closed.