By James Washington
Faith Columnist Special to the NNPA News Wire from The Dallas Weekly
My pastor preached on this Sunday and although the subject is not new as this column isn’t either, I thought some might need reassurance, as I certainly did. Do you have an addiction, a weakness, something you are aware of but just cannot shake on your own? It may be a secret, your secret, something you dare not reveal for it goes the complete opposite of who you believe yourself to be and counter to the person whom you are truly trying to become. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 says, “To keep me from becoming conceited, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” If I’m the only one shouting right now, it’s okay. I know many of you are shouting silently, internally, privately.
You know some things in the Bible reverberate over and over again and we still don’t get it. I don’t mean to infer that we don’t understand the words because most of us do. The point is we do not or cannot incorporate what we’re reading into our daily lives. In this passage Paul lets us know that there is indeed a reason to accept our shortcomings and deal with our flaws and faults with a basic understanding that in doing so, God will invariably show up and then proceed to show out. It is through our warts that God demonstrates to us and the world that He is Lord. Can you imagine experiencing the “perfect power” of the Lord? Apparently it’s as easy as looking in the mirror and making an honest assessment of who you really are and who you should be striving to become. To put it into proper perspective, you are who you are only in relationship to God. And don’t forget to take your imperfections with you. If you know and accept yourself to be a child of God, then you must attempt to be an example of God’s Word and His work. The only thing standing in your way is admitting to yourself, you can’t go it alone. You and I need help and that help comes only from one source. It’s the perfect source and comes with consequences. The consequences begin with recognizing that there is divine purpose in your particular set of weaknesses. I know that’s hard to believe, but it is true.
Dare I say most of us would reject the notion that sinful could be anything more than just sinful. The text however says it is our duty to understand through spiritual recognition that God chooses your problems to show off His righteousness through you by doing miraculous things. When you get a hand from the Lord to overcome your addictions, your passions, your vanity, your shortcomings, you get so much more than you bargained for. According to this part of the bible, you also get Christ’s power to work with. Isn’t that something? No wonder Paul continues by saying, “That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
By itself, you might wonder how Paul comes up with this conclusion. But when taken in the context of the entire passage, isn’t it true that out of many impossible situations and circumstances, God rescued you? How many testimonies do you need to hear before you give God the praise He deserves? Or is it that you can testify on your own about frailties that have become strengths to be relied upon and give you wisdom to share? All I’m saying is stop fighting yourself. Stop denying your insecurities. Accept them and give them too, over to the Lord. Then step back and watch God do His thing with your life. He’ll do things you never could. Then watch Him revel in those who see His divine work through you. It’s that let go and let God thing again. Paul just reminds us that even on your worst day, it’s not about you. If you just remember it’s all about Him; not your good, your bad and your ugly.
May God bless and keep you always.