This semester we have been discussing intellectual character and its virtues. We have defined intellectual character as the thought process behind every decision we make. We began the semester talking about the intellectual courage to find and live out truth, and continued discussing honesty which comes from knowing the truth. This week we will be talking about intellectual tenacity.
To understand tenacity we need to understand track! As a track coach, I can’t resist talking about track. We have a great team by the way, and I want all of you to join if you can. Track is the fundamental sport for all sports. You run and jump and gain endurance in track. I know you run and jump in football (the best sport), basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, tennis and learn endurance in swimming and even water polo.
But, the problem with track is it has to do with running and jumping! You know what practice is… running and jumping and then running some more. In order to be good in track you have to keep running, even when you don’t want to run anymore.
Intellectual tenacity is a lot like track. The definition for tenacity is the quality or fact of being very determined. Tenacity is simply determination. Another definition for tenacity is the quality of continuing persistence.
You see, in track you have to be determined not to stop. You have to be persistent in running and have a tenacity to run faster and jump further–even when you have already run 2 miles, and your lungs burn–even when you have run ten 100 meter sprints and your legs hurt–even when you finish a 400 meter run and you have to walk funny or everything will cramp up. In track, you work hard and fight through it to be the best you can be!
Intellectual tenacity is like this… it is a determination to seek truth, goodness and beauty even when it is hard to.
Titus 1:9 says, “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
We have to be intellectually tenacious in the truth of God’s word so that when others try to lead us away from the truth of God, we can know that even in difficult times, the truth of God is real. We must continue to seek the truth and do the right thing even when we find it difficult to continue. We must continue to not give up and strive for intelligence even when we find it boring.
To be truly intellectually tenacious, we must strive to learn that math lesson, we must persist in studying for our tests, and we must be determined to find the information in the book that is needed for the research project. And in persistently doing these things now, we learn to fight for truth, goodness and beauty in all aspects of our lives.
Just as we run and train in track, we learn to run the good race in our life and never back down from a challenge. As warriors, we know that the harder the challenge, the better we fight!