This text changed my life.
2 Cor 12:7-10.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 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.
My Christian life, for many years, was comprised of performance: trying to be as good a Christian as I can be. The problem was, I was a failure at it. On days when I read my Bible or spent time in prayer, I felt an air of superiority because I was “in.” On days when I didn’t, I easily felt defeated and useless.
Then, God taught me this concept: Christ is to shine through my weakness. I was living as though I was supposed to shine through Christ’s weakness. “Because I’m a Christian, I have a better marriage, I get better grades, I am a better person,” and so on. This is a good testimony, but its still all about me.
What I learned is that its all about Jesus. Its about making Him look good, its about showing the world that I am radically sinful and rebellious, but God’s love and grace is even more radical. Christ looks good in this kind of life.
The net result was that this caused me to love Christ more (because I was out of the performance loop) and gave me a greater hunger to know Him who loves me so purely. This drove me to the word and drove me to prayer.
I’m still a failure; but I have the pleasure of knowing that my failure is not conclusive. Christ is. Every time I fail is just one more opportunity to see just how deep and wide and high is the love of Christ for me.