Guys, it happened again.
I woke up in the middle of the night to a notification from WordPress that my blog stats were booming out of no where. 62 hits on more than a dozen posts in an hour.
Each one references cheating and divorce.
Coincidentally, it follows, again, an announcement about teaching yoga at church. But this time, thankfully, it’s my home church where I am known and have been able to build relationship with my pastors so as familiar as this feels, I’m not worried this time around (though, I still gave the pastors a heads up about what might be coming down the pike… a whole lot of what they already know and have covered with Christ-like grace, praise Jesus and amen).
It frustrates me because I have this follower who is obviously upset with me, carrying some strong opinions about me that they feel so strongly about that he or she is willing to stay up late on a Saturday night and gather information on me to try to, what seems like, tear down what God is building in and through me.
Let me repeat that for anyone lurking in the back: this is GOD’s work. It’s through me, but it’s HIS.
But I’m setting aside my sass and my frustration for a minute because I want to give God mire than a little praise for His ways and the lifestyle He calls us to live as recipients of grace and forgiveness. Bear with me while I lay down some scriptures, then I’ll try to explain what I mean.
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. (2 Corinthians 11:30-31 NIV)
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I love Paul. He’s bold, and sometimes, he’s a little plain. Not plain like boring, but plain like he’s just going to put it all out there. Not without love, obviously, but sometimes that love comes out of him with a little oomph.
He is a model for me in so many ways, because in many ways, he emulates Christ. But I especially love his response to the grace he’s received in Christ for his weakness.
Now, Paul didn’t have a blog like I do, and he wasn’t documenting his personal walk with the Lord online like I am. He was writing instructional and advisory letters to the first generations of the church, which would be immortalized in the living word of God for us to read, enjoy, and learn from even today. So his admissions about his weaknesses were a bit more vague. But I can’t help but think that if he carried a journal or ran a blog about his personal walk with the Lord, he’d be just as honest, and keep it just as real as he was in his letters.
If he was talking about his weaknesses, and he was going to boast, he’d BOAST. I can’t help but read his words and think:
Yeah, I was weak. Yeah, I had an affair. I failed at my first marriage. God and I both know it’s true, and I make no secret of it – why? Because His grace is sufficient enough for me. It is His power in my life that brought me through that time, it is Christ alone that redeemed me, and His love and glory is revealed in my prodigal return.
I won’t hide behind lies or excuses or fear about what happened in my past because God is bigger than my sin, and He says there is no condemnation for me, amen?! See Romans 8:1…
And yes. See all of it. Not just the first part that says there’s no condemnation in Christ. I even mean about the second part that specifies it’s not for those of us walking in the Spirit. I’m not walking in my flesh anymore. I’m not walking in weakness and infidelity anymore. Nor am I walking in shame and fear. I’m walking in light and in grace (more on that later) and in forgiveness and, dare I say, in confidence. Because I am confident that Christ’s sacrifice was and is and always will be all-sufficient. And THAT, that is the Spirit in me. That is not my flesh, which is weak and afraid.
My pastor shared a great word with me yesterday, she said that the enemy will raise foolish arguments up against us in these times. And that’s so right; praise God for that word. Because it’s foolish to be afraid of someone tattling on me for things I readily admit – even boast about in order to show Christ’s love and redemption power in me. And it’s foolish to engage in arguments about such things. A wise person said once said, “You don’t have to attend every argument your invited to.” And that just seems like solid advice.
Proverbs 26:4-5 offer some practical Biblical application of this, if not confusing, so I had to look into it a little bit. But it’s why I’m writing today. It reads,
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. (NIV).
It’s generally not advised to enter into foolish arguments, because we’re trying to reason with a fool, they won’t hear reason, and the argument will, just make fools out of us. But it’s said, too, that we should answer some of them, ones that matter and which are of some consequence, in order to try to bring a reproof to the error of his ways in hopes that he would see reason and truth.
So here I am. Unable to enter the argument even if I wanted to (I really don’t. I’d rather reconcile), because my reader remains anonymous to me, but also, unwilling to allow it to blow by without an answer of BUT GOD, DON’T MISS GOD IN THIS.
Because ultimately, other people are following along too. And maybe there are things being held against someone else, to keep them trapped in fear and shame, and I just want them to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Walk in the light, walk in the Spirit, and walk in confidence in the sufficiency of His grace! And know that, even though no one is entitled to your story and you’re not required to share it in any detail at all, you can boast in your weakness without shame, because that’s where Christ is most evident and most glorified in you.