or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of 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. 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.
– 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“What’s refreshing about it?” Someone asked me.
We were talking about blogging.
“Because in reading someone else’s personal struggles and thoughts God is glorified. You can see it in the way He picks them up when they are down. When I walk into a service I sense the walls. Some are so distrustful that prayer requests are like pulling teeth. It takes courage to walk transparently.”
With my family, I walked the lie that everything in my life had to make sense, be correct, and that smile had to grace my face. I had to wear a skirt to church. I had to make all the correct choices and my faith was works-based. I didn’t realize that I lived a lie because every Christian I knew also walked into church with a smile on their face and their life seemingly together. Those I knew also believed we had to live as good examples.
In an argument with my grandfather, he said, “You’re a Christian…You’ve been a screw-up all your life.” In an argument with an aunt and uncle, one of the commandments was used against me. Because I didn’t live in the cookie mold of their beliefs I was a hypocrite. God used all of this to break me. I realized that I lived to the delight of the Enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8,9) looking to tear down my faith. The Enemy knows he’s doomed and wishes to take as many with him as possible. I stumbled with this work-based faith. A person used scripture against me until I questioned my faith and whether God could love me.
Then, one day I realized that I was a hypocrite and Jesus died on the cross for me (John 3). He forgave me, and I can’t live on a works-based faith. That’s not how the Bible is written. It trapped me in a black void of despair and failure. I was doomed to fail living like I was all self-sufficient while I struggled emotionally with so many issues. The vacancy of love in my family would always exist, but Jesus was asking me, “Am I enough?”
I walk into service every week and see the walls as if I could touch them. In looking at myself I see my walls that still exist though they are steadily crumbling.
Is this a Christian family?
Our branches extend all over the world. Isn’t it time that we begin to notice our walls and work a little at a time to break them down? And if you blog your thoughts and your weaknesses, please keep blogging! God is using that to help another. And if someone airs their dirty laundry, listen. You don’t need to contribute. Just listen. In some cases, words aren’t necessary to say I love you.