Monday, January 08, 2007

They are weak, but He is strong...

Yesterday in Sunday school our lesson was taught by one of the most honest and open teachers of the Word I know. He spoke with vulnerability, humbly and openly sharing his own struggles. Someone made the comment, "I'm so glad to know you have 'stuff' too!" His authentic acknowledgement of his weaknesses encouraged others, including me.

I thought to myself how much we in the Christian world have adopted the world's value system in that we esteem the strong over the weak, the wise over the foolish, those who appear who have it all together over those who obviously do not.

I confess I do this. Several years ago (some of you who know me personally have no doubt heard this story a few times) I had dropped my youngest son off in the nursery and left him screaming and crying. I was between Bible studies at the time and was looking forward to attending a new discipleship class before my next study kicked in. Well, my boy wouldn't calm down and I had to retrieve him from the nursery. I was so frustrated; it sounds so silly in hindsight, but I was so looking forward to the class, that I was in tears. On my way out someone made the comment to me, entirely in jest, "Lisa, up to this point, I didn't know you were real!"

He was teasing me, I know that, but his comment has stayed with me, now probably six years later. I realized I had carefully constructed an image of myself that was all pretense, such that I didn't appear real. Since that night, I made it my goal to be open, authentic, real, honestly and humbly sharing my struggles and battles.

It's not easy. When you expose yourself, you feel, well, exposed. You begin to fear rejection and judgment.

But, which exalts Christ more: "I'm perfect. I'm strong. Look at me, I have it all together. Come to Jesus and maybe you can be like me and no longer suffer in your silly old struggles." Or, "Life is hard. I struggle. I fall. I fail. But God's grace is amazing! He is faithful, and His Spirit within gives me strength. I mess up, but He picks me up. I can't do it, but He is able..."

The first exalts me, the second makes much of God. No wonder Paul says, "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness...For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses...for when I am weak, then I am strong...God chose the foolish...God chose the weak...He chose the lowly...so that no one may boast before him..." (2 Cor. 11:30, 12:10, 1 Cor. 1:27-28)

1 comment:

  1. We were just talking about this in Bible study this morning. We would much rather be with people who we can be ourselves with than with someone we have to be "fake" around. I think that God wants us to be real to others so that He can work through us. Thanks for pointing that out. Blessings!

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