Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. It is a gift of God to help us cope with hard things in life. But it can also be an instrument of self-supremacy—the “I can do anything” attitude that was birthed in the Garden of Eden—“you shall be like God.”
From Genesis to Revelation, "Babylon" is used to denote the strength and resiliency of man—its first mention, the Tower of Babel. Ever since, men have built towers to display their strength. After the fall of the World Trade towers on 911, it seemed Americans were brought to their knees and humbled—churches were full of scared people. But within weeks, resilience returned. And national leaders said, “We will build a new tower!” Thus a new Word Trade tower (the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere) will be completed in 2013, reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet—referring to the year America declared its independence.
Isaiah describes Israel’s resilience after tragedy: “The people say in their proud, lofty hearts, ‘The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones and cut down trees and build for ourselves a tower’” (9:8–10). We American Christians must be especially leery of how the spirit of resilience affects us. We can forget that our trials are meant to make us more dependent on God. Because Paul understood this, he boasted in his weakness (1 Co. 12:19). But the resilient American spirit hates weakness, and says, “let us build a new tower.”