The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
1 John 2:27
“But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
One of the aspects that comes from living with other people is that you get to know them quite well. There were four of us living in the house at Chesterfield Ave. It was a great time of learning together and living together. There was very much a sense of community, we were there together because of our relationship with God, we had one purpose to serve him and that brought us together into a close bond. As we would discuss spiritual things, it was quite easy to see that each one of us seemed to have an area that was very special, something which we would consider a point of strength.
My point of strength seemed to be the ability to challenge people on to love and good works. It was an issue that I had thought about considerably, in Bible study I kept seeing new instances of it and learning more. I was working on putting it into practice, listening to people as they shared and following it up by sharing something that would draw out a Biblical perspective on what they had said.
As I began to think about the others in the house I began to realise that things were not as they seemed. In each case as I looked at their lives, I began to realise that the issue that each one considered a point of strength was in fact a point of weakness. They thought about it as a strength because it was important to them. Yet the reality was that although in their minds they had thought through these issues quite deeply, in the practice of their lives they struggled. There were other aspects of their lives that they just did naturally without having to think through the issues. Curiously they would have considered those areas their weaknesses.
It then came as a bit of a shock to realise that the same was true of me. The area that I considered strength, was actually one of my greatest weaknesses. I have always struggled with telling people unpleasant truths. Yes, I would be able to share if it was going to be ‘nice’ all round, but if I thought that they did not want to hear it, I would really struggle. On the other hand the area that I considered my greatest weakness, faithfulness, was considered by others my greatest strength.
Why were these issues so important to us? – Because Jesus was making it important to us. All the time in Bible studies and in daily Bible readings these issues were coming up and Jesus was teaching us new aspects about this issue. What an amazing thing, Jesus knew my weakness and was hitting home with new lessons all of the time, so that I could be strengthened in it. It is interesting that he was not launching in with condemnation about my failures but rather was encouraging me with new insights that we could work on together. As we worked on these issues together I would be remaining in him and in his love.
Curiously, I have found that it is best to learn a subject from someone who is weak and struggling in it than someone who can do it naturally without thinking the issue through. The one who is weak is more likely to have been taught by Jesus. The one for whom things come naturally, has never even had to think about it!
STRENGTH & WEAKNESS