On most mornings I begin my day by reflecting on the Verse of the Day shared on Biblegate.com and then posting a blog entry inspired by that particular passage of Scripture. From time to time, however, I will share the Word for the Day, meaning that I will select a particular word and expound upon its meaning and personal application. The Word for the Day chosen on May 27, 2016 identifies an admirable trait for those confronted by the tempestuous times in which we live: “unflappable.”
The term is an adjective meaning not easily upset or confused, especially in a crisis; imperturbable. Thought to have its origin in the mid-1950s, “cool, calm, and collected” would be another expression associated with being “unflappable.” Other synonyms include “being at ease,” clearheaded, level-headed, unruffled, and untroubled.
An individual described as being unflappable exemplifies “unflappability”: remaining composed and level-headed at all times, being impossible to fluster. This leadership value was first associated with Harold McMillian, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963, whom Fergusonvalues.com identifies as “The Unflappable Leader.”
Learning to become unflappable in all situations is an admirable trait that not only leaders, but, indeed, all believers should aspire to maintain such a state of unflappability. I think of the opening lines of “If” by Rudyard Kipling:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
To be unflappable to is to be at peace, to be secure, unshakable, and unmovable. I recall an expression that my grandmother and other elders would say to children and others on occasion “Hold your peace.” You can take that figuratively, meaning to remain calm or to abide in peace, as the scriptures exhort believers to “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts and be thankful. You could also think of holding on to the peace of God, retaining it, keeping it close at hand, and maintaining a state of tranquility, despite circumstances that generate turmoil and uncertainty.
Recall the situation when Moses led the Children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, as they moved toward the Promised Land. With the Egyptians in hot pursuit behind them, the people confronted the Red Sea before them. Clearly, here is a situation where the people of God needed to be “unflappable.” As they began to murmur and complain, God spoke to Moses and commanded him to say this:
Exodus 14:14 (NKJV)
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
14 The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”
This account was also the inspiration for the following poem that has application the present times in which we live.
Hold Your Peace
So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
These days when the enemy enters as a flood
With distress and intense pressure on every side,
Despite signs of defeat, the Lord God is still good.
In the thick of battle in peace we will abide.
The Spirit of the Lord raises a bold standard:
Lord of Hosts bears His arm, as Jehovah Nissi
Covers us with His love; though foes may have slandered,
His royal banner is displayed for us to see:
Faithful Adonai has never slept nor slumbered.
He is not slack but hastens to perform His Word.
Despite outward signs, we are never outnumbered,
For we know that the battle belongs to the Lord.
On the battlefield, fierce attacks seem only to increase,
But as God told Moses, “Stand still and hold your peace!”
I recall some of the lyrics to Phillips, Craig and Dean’s “You are God Alone”:
“Unchangeable—Unshakable—Unmovable—That’s who you are . . .” and that’s who we are, for we are created in His image. . . Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
We close our discussion of the term “unflappable” with this powerful song: