Sunday, April 01, 2007

Strength vs Weakness


I found myself engaged in a conversation last week with a few people that revolved around the subject of whether God wants us to be strong or weak. My initial stance was that this is of course yet another of those profound 'tensions of truth' we live with as Christians - it's a both/and scenario rather than an either/or. However, my holy kop-out didn't seem to cut much mustard, people wanted to assert postitions one way or the other. Many times I've used the maxim "God loves you as you are but loves you too much to leave you as you are" and I've never really had anyone challenge me to the contrary. However it did seem that one of the people in the conversation felt quite strongly that God's plan did not involve any sort of transformation of personality or behaviour, rather, his grace would simply flow and flow perpetually covering all her mortal flaws. I stressed that the scales of biblical evidence, both direct teaching and the witness of divine influence on characters from Genesis to Revelation are weighted heavily towards human transformation. At this point a fairly new Christian spoke up and said, "But I've been changed! God has done it for me. I'm not the same as I used to be. I'm not perfect but there are so many things God's helped me deal with. I am stronger!" It's always difficult to argue with testimony isn't it ;-)

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Anonymous said...

Hi Matt, it's becky fox here (from xcelerate 2002) - i came across your blog by chance and am finding it really interesting.

I have been thinking about the strength vs weakness subject for ages now. Two and a half years ago i passionately prayed a prayer that i now think was probably quite stupid and ignorant... anyway, i prayed that "God would make me weaker, so that His life in me could be stronger".. and i actually really meant it, although i have no idea what i was expecting in response to it.. it definitely wasn't what happened. I developed quite severe epilepsy after this and have had over 1000 fits since then... basically in every sense i am very weak now... from a worldly perspective i am useless, i can't work or do anything much, i barely leave my house except to go to church (where more often than not i end up coming home cos of fitting). My point is that although in many senses i am very weak now, i also feel like there is a whole new strength in me that i knew nothing of before... a strength to persist when i'm weak, a strength that is truely not based on what i do, cos i don't 'do' much in the normal sense..

It is strange and has made me realise there is a strange paradox in being strong and weak at the same time. Like you say it is a both/and not an either/or scenario. I think it depends how we define 'strength' and 'weakness' too, i think our definitons are probably very different to Gods. I don't think our eyes are even capable of seeing or knowing what real 'strength' is or what real 'weakness' is.

Anyway, i hope you don't mind me reading your blog. Sorry to write such a long comment! becky

Gavin White said...

Matt, I totally agree with your new christian's friend testimony. God is changing us day by day into his likeness by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Becky, May you know God's healing, restoring, and life changing power upon your life....those fits don't sound fun......we remember your smiley face from your times with us here in Old Moat!


myemanna said...

The Lord really gave me an interesting revelation on this very same topic the other day. Come check it out!