Buzzwords come and go, and presently the term grit is fairly popular within the behavioral sciences and beyond. The term stirs up inspiring pictures: entrepreneurs taking a chance, soldiers pressing forward despite seemingly impossible odds, parents determined to support and love a resistant adolescent, politicians or activists standing up for something that is worthwhile.
Writers on the subject rightfully emphasize traits such as optimism, confidence, creativity, resilience, and hardiness; all of these may describe what grit is composed of, but I want to take a look at what is behind these descriptors – the source of grit. Think of it like a spring bubbling with water: if grit is the virtue equivalent of a spring’s clean, cold water, it has to come from somewhere. Like water slowly trickling through porous limestone, becoming cleaner and purer at each step, so is the confidence and hardiness we call grit filtered from a particular source.
And now, as is characteristic of all my writings, the faith claim! No surprises here!
The ultimate well/source is God, the creative One who crafted all that we will ever study or see or experience.
And because God has been made known, we have hope. And the hope of God naturally overflows, giving us grit. When institutions, relationships, concepts, religious systems, or commitments seem to fail, the hope of God remains steadfast.
The hope of God is the source of grit.
To be sure, there is plenty of pushback that can be voiced against this. The Christian faith can unfortunately be viewed as an escapist paradigm and one could cling blindly to the hope that God will do something for them while ignoring how God has already equipped them to move forward. But this would miss the mark on several accounts.