When I am weak, I am strong…

So, over the weekend, we went to a family reunion and had a blast with food, family, and fun.

Even as we gathered to have fun, the fun turned into something not so fun.  Jokes, drinking, and other behaviors were laughed at as we seemed to have fun.  Yet the nature of the jokes were very were serious.  Unfortunately, in an effort to fit in, I joined in with the joking that was not befitting a Christian who is studying to be a pastor

Yes, I am not a perfect Christian and I did sin.  I spent the last few days trying to apologize and figure out how to approach the people who were in on the fun to apologize for not portraying myself as a better Christian.  I even caught the attitude that I was better than they were since I did not get as wild nor did I drink.

Then, in this week’s class, I realized that even so-called perfect Christians struggle with weaknesses at times.  Sort of like the thorn that was in Paul’s side in 2 Cor 12:8-10 (NIV) as it reads:

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.

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.

Though I am weak at times, I know that Jesus will use that weakness to make me stronger.  After all, there is that saying “What doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger.”

Therefore, in conclusion, put on the whole armor of God so that next time you struggle against a weakness, you can stand strong and not give in.  More darts will be aimed at us as we prepare for this upcoming journey and with the armor of God, I can fight whatever comes my way with Jesus at my side.

What weaknesses do you have in your life that come up and catch you off guard?  Do you try to fit in even with family and fail?

Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Perfection…To be or not to be perfect…

Well, my class Casting Vision wrapped up this weekend as I frantically worked on the final paper. Final papers are never my forte; however, for some unknown reason, I end up with great grades. Even with these grades, I spend time worried about the papers because I want that perfect grade since I strive to be perfect.

As I strive to be perfect, I ask – what is the use of being perfect? I mean, why do we strive to be perfect? It only stresses me and I become cranky when I try to be too perfect. My need to be perfect may have come from growing up in a family that never really praises me. Where no matter what I did, I never pleased them. Yet, now I focus on putting my effort to be get decent grades into pleasing and honoring God for giving me the chance to go to college. So, where does your strive to be perfect come from?

Several years ago, I learned a lesson about striving to be perfect when I was frustrated about a statistics class. After being stressed and talking to hubby, I realized that I do not need perfect grades to be happy. Even if I did get a lower grade, the skies are still blue and the sun still shone! After all this stress, in the end after a much more relaxed effort, I did pass this class with a B.

As for casting vision, even if we have weaknesses, God will still use these “imperfections” for His will as described in 2 Cor 13:9 (MSG), “We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.”

Therefore, even if I do not get a perfect grade, I can still celebrate and be grateful that I can go to school and earn my master degree. Furthermore, even as I create “perfect” plans for our journey, if something comes up, I can celebrate that God has given us this vision and if the plans go astray, like not getting our cat into a harness or something gets broken on the move, I can still rejoice that God will protect us on this journey.

So, do you strive to be perfect? What happens to your physical body when you strive to be perfect?  If you’re like me, it wears you down.

Therefore, rest and know that God uses our weakness and according to Rom 12:2 (MSG) “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it…God [will bring] the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  

Therefore, consider taking your “perfect” life and turning it over to God so He can use you for His perfect will.