Unflappable 3: Final thoughts

Romans 3--3-4Today marks the third time within the past week that the blog entry on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe has focused on the Word for the Day rather than the Verse of the Day. On May 27, 2016 we introduced the term “unflappable” and noted some details regarding this distinctive adjective. A couple of days later  we continued the discussion, introducing other related terms with “Unflappable 2—more in store”,  the Word for the Day on yesterday, May 30, 2016. On the last day of the merry month of May, May 31, 2016, we want to share some final reflections concerning “unflappable.”

The following comments come from the first two entries:

By way of review, “unflappable,” an adjective, means “not easily upset or confused, especially in a crisis; imperturbable.” Thought to have its origin in the mid-1950s, the expression “cool, calm, and collected” would be another expression associated with being “unflappable.” Other synonyms include “being at ease, clearheaded, not easily upset, unruffled, and untroubled.”

The first entry also mentioned the term “unflappability”, a character trait demonstrated by those who remain composed and having sound judgment at all times, being impossible to fluster. An individual described as being unflappable exemplifies “unflappability”: remaining composed and level-headed at all times, being impossible to fluster. Note also this statement:

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.

In “Unflappable 2—more in store” we expounded upon the word and introduced an acrostic “F-L-A-P” a term connected to four attributes of spirits of wickedness: Fear, Lust, Anger, and Pride. This entry also introduced a new verb: “unflap”:

Often when these negative emotions are stirred up in situations that believers encounter, we become anything but “unflappable” under circumstances where we should remain confident and assured, unmoved, but we fail to maintain our state of “unflappability.” In such situations we need to respond to the tactics of the adversary of our souls and “unflap” the enemy by moving in the opposite spirit. Although you cannot find the verb “unflap” in the Official Scrabble Dictionary, I am coining the term and using it in a spiritual context. . . . We ‘unflap’ the enemy by learning to be unflappable.”

As believers each time we “flip the flap” and move in the opposite spirit when confronted by Satan and the forces of evil, we “unflap” the enemy and score a victory: Now thanks be unto Christ who always causes us to triumph in Christ, thus being “unflappable” each time.

Today we want to take a final look at the word “unflappable”, as we note that it has two parts: a prefix and its root—un + flappable.  “Un” generally means “not” and renders a negative or opposing force to the word that it precedes. It can also mean to deactivate or to make something inactive. In this case, not flappable or easily upset. God desires that His people become rooted and grounded, not blown about by every wind of doctrine, being steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

In exploring words with the prefix “un” I noted several adjectives and their corresponding adverbs as well as numerous nouns, but very few verbs use this prefix. Among the few is the verb “undo” and, of course, we are familiar with the relatively recent verb form that is frequently use informally, “unfriend”, as in the context of Facebook.

When I came across the verb “undo,” it brought to mind a poem related to this whole discussion of how to “unflap” the enemy in order to become and remain “unflappable.” Take a look at this:

Unbelief, the Thief

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make

the faithfulness of God without effect?

4Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.

As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,

And may overcome when You are judged.”

Romans 3:3-4

As a leech would siphon the life force from our blood,

This insidious culprit clings to our belief,

To undermine our confidence that God is good.

This unwelcome foe invades our minds as a thief,

A bold embezzler, defiling our faith with doubt;

This robber goes undetected, misunderstood.

So we search for each negative to wipe it out,

For a little leaven slowly grows and corrupts

The measure of our faith and gradually weakens

Our trust in God’s promises and subtly disrupts

Assurance, though faith still increases and strengthens,

As muscles respond to an exhausting workout.

We will capture and behead this ungodly thief

To undo his “un” and make solid our belief.

As noted Bible teacher, John Piper, states, “… the top priority in the Christian life is learning to battle unbelief and fight the fight of faith.” Knowing this,  we strive to remain “unflappable” in every situation that we encounter every day.

Jason Feller, lead vocalist on Indelible Grace, offers “Begone Unbelief,” a hymn with lyrics by John Newton, composer of “Amazing Grace.”


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