2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Desperately depending on God’s grace isn’t easy for some: the self-sufficient, the type A’s, those who test well, and trophy owners, for starters.
Paul also spent time on a list of the self-confident. But being weighed down with a load of suffering…so far beyond our strength that we were afraid we might not survive reminds him again of his need for Grace (v. 8, CEB).
The confidence we most need comes from God. By Grace, we help each other understand that we don’t earn God’s love or our place in Christ’s Church based on our achievements. Our acceptance comes from God, who envisions what the church can become when Grace works through God’s people. Understanding this makes us honest.
Congregants are as likely to have problems as anyone else. Christians suffer from abuse, alcoholism, addictions, and estrangement from parents, children, and friends. Christians worry about their jobs, their health, getting tired, getting old. We feel as overwhelmed and inadequate as others. Most of us have known more losses than wins.
Being Christ’s Church means learning to be honest about who we are and what we’ve experienced. The most helpful people for cancer victims are often those who have cancer and will talk about it. When a woman suffers a miscarriage, she needs to hear others say: “It happened to me, too, and the loss felt overwhelming.” When depression threatens to tear us apart, we need friends who know what that struggle is like.
Anne Lamott writes of living with faith in Traveling Mercies, “we can’t do it when we have our act together, because we can’t do it when we’re acting.” We have to stop trying to impress one another, show our scars, and share the source of our healing.
What moment in your life helped you recognize your great need for God’s grace? What will help remind you of that truth today?
God, you are the source of true confidence. Help us learn without ceasing that our lives rely on yours. Amen.