There was a common opinion in my former church that a person had to “tough it out” and “endure” to “make it” to “finish their course” or to “stay in the church”. In other words, people felt that a person should endure any hardship or wrong to stay in that church because only by staying in that church could they please God.

tough

I’m tough enough not to stand by and watch people be deliberately hurt in the name of religion. I’m tougher than to stay in an abusive environment and “submit” to injustices.

When I would get upset about something, one man in particular would say, “Oh, Sis, you’re tougher than that.” I never responded, to my memory. Today I want to. Yes, I’m tougher than that. I’m tough enough not to stand by and watch people be deliberately hurt in the name of religion. I’m tougher than to stay in an abusive environment and “submit” to injustices. I’m tough enough not to think I need to stay in a place that supports wrongdoing, whether it be immoral, unethical, unbiblical or illegal, and I’m tough enough not to support, either with my presence or my finance, those who do. I’m tough enough to stand up for right and to stand firm no matter the opposition.

Yes, sir, I’m “tougher than that”. But tough doesn’t mean gritting my teeth and enduring injustice or standing by and watching as others are wronged. Some of the biggest atrocities in history have come because people refused to take a stand. The people who instigated those were not tough. They were weak. The people who accepted and went along with them to protect themselves were not tough. They were weak. It is those through history who have stood for what is right that in the end are admired and respected. Some of these have been named as heroes, and others were soon forgotten, but they- those who faced opposition and persecution but still came to others’ defense, who refused to bow or bend to unethical or immoral practices or to go against their principles, those who refused to go along with the crowd simply because it was easier- they were the ones that made a difference, that changed the life of one person or many, they were the ones who were tough.

So yes, brother, I’m “tougher than that.” You just didn’t realize what “that” was.