Posts Tagged ‘Confidence’

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“ASPIRING TO BE FRAGILE” – July 2

July 2, 2013

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7

Flimsy, frail, fragile, feeble are all adjectives that should be avoided on a professional resume.  These are not personal traits that are typically exalted and espoused.  I don’t know of a motivational speaker who bears the mantle of encouraging the strong to throw aside their strength and embrace the joy of feebleness.  The New York Times best sellers list does not have authors advocating success through the power of weakness.  Our world works very hard to deny our weaknesses.  Numerous are the methods and programs that strive to identify our strengths and diminish our limitations.

There is a message being embraced by:

the child longing to be an adult;
the student learning from the master;
the athlete training;
the aged remembering their youth;

This message shuns the idea of being a flimsy, frail, fragile, and feeble clay jar. However, that is exactly what we are.  Our true identity emerges when:

illness steals our strength;
success slips our grasp;
intellect denies our aspirations;
age bars our activities.

When our true identity weighs down upon us, we are then able to see that we really are nothing in comparison to the surpassing power of God.  When we are powerless, the knowledge that God is everything has clarity.  When we are desperate, the love of God comes easily for those who are in Christ.

However, what about when we are strong?  What about when the accolades are accumulating?  What about when all you touch turns to gold?  What about when you are at the pinnacle?

I wonder if the strong and prosperous are not in the most danger when they are at their highest.

English: pots made of clay.

English: pots made of clay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are in danger because it can be so easy to forget who they really are.  Success can cause us to believe in a false identity.  We can begin to believe that we are something in ourselves.  At the moment that I believe that I am something other than clay, then God is not everything.  Confidence in my abilities has an insidious way of blinding me to my real identity.  I know that there are many things that I am good at.  The danger arises when I begin to believe that all the strengths that I possess originate from personal qualities.  We step into a morass when we claim success as the result of all our hard work.

This denial of our true identity strikes directly at what we love.  Loving God with everything that we are flows easily out of an understanding that He is everything and we are but clay jars.  However, a love of self is the natural parasite of a self-confident attitude.  The self-confident have lost sight of God’s surpassing power the moment they swallow the myth of their own fame, no matter how small that fame might be.

A man shapes pottery as it turns on a wheel. (...

A man shapes pottery as it turns on a wheel. (Cappadocia, Turkey) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In that instant, we lose everything by believing the lie that we can do anything within ourselves.

Fortunately, we get everything and can do anything the instant that we attribute all that we are to the rightful Originator.  There is nothing that is impossible for the one who knows who they really are. The clay jar has surpassing power within it when it embraces what it really is; flimsy, frail, fragile, and feeble.

Therefore, let us aspire to be what we really are… fragile.

PRAYER: Lord, you know that I fail in holding the right attitude in my heart.  You know how my heart loves to be made much of.  You know how I am so inclined to take credit for your work.  Father, remind me of how I am.  Thank you for all that You have given me.  Thank you for all that things that You have made me good at.  Thank you for the strengths that come from You through me.  Help me to keep the right attitude.  Help me to glorify You through all that you have given me.  Give me a heart that only wants You.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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