Here are some quotes from these chapters. (I'm reading in the Kindle app for iPad so no page numbers.)
- Rarely, if ever, did I experience rest simply because I knew I was loved with an everlasting love by my Creator.
- A person won't seek help until they are aware of their need.
- But the secret of the law was not to prove our inadequacy for God's sake. It was to prove our inadequacy for our sake.
- It means taking things on as my own that were never meant for me to take on. It is the false belief that I, myself, am the cause or explanation for the bad, uncomfortable, or dissatisfied people or circumstances around me. Likewise, it also means that I feel the need to prevent the bad, uncomfortable, or dissatisfactory circumstances from happening in the first place.
- God doesn't ask us to be strong. In fact, I believe the Bible teaches that he asks us to be the exact opposite.I have spent most of my life avoiding weak. I don't want to look weak, act weak, or even give the hint that I am capable of weakness.
- “Weak” is not a four-letter bad word. Hiding behind a mask of strength and responsibility is a lonely place to live. That mask portrays to the world around us that we have it all together, that we can handle the mess, that we don't need people, or worse, that we don't need God.
- If you are anything like me, then you know the fine art of how to be vulnerable enough so people believe you are authentic, but not so vulnerable that all your mess hangs out. You know how to be vulnerable with boundaries.
These two chapters hit me pretty hard. These two maks, “rule-follower” and “can't fall apart”, are plastered on tightly – so much so, that I procrastinated in writing this post until the very last minute.
I have lived for too long behind this mask of perfect. I'm learning to peel it back, but it's a slow process. Glimpses of life without my definition of perfect surface from time to time. I want to live in God's definition of perfect but all the rules that I think I have to follow get in the way more often than not.
I thought the rules were my friend, but in the end, they always seem to let me down. Rather than being a guiding path, I let the rules overrun and shame me.
But there's hope. Jesus came to fulfill the Law. I don't have to live in the shame of my imperfection. Grace is free. Even for me.
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19
I take responsibility for all kinds of things that I shouldn't. I'm a control-freak.
I try to meet the needs of everyone around me – being all things to everyone. But, I hide my own needs. I don't want to impose on anyone else or show weakness. I cannot be weak.
The reality? I cannot be strong in God until I admit my weaknesses and my inability to do everything myself.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Missed a week of the discussion? You can start here for the whole series.
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