“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 ESV
“I can’t tolerate failure and I can’t stand success.” Yours truly and many others.
Yay! I don’t do anything by myself! I have a partner in this life journey who gives me strength for the good and the bad. Good things can be stressful such as a new baby, a new home, a work raise with more responsibility, starting college, as well as the negative. We dwell on the negative because people, society, media, online find attention, ratings and money in it. We “buy” it. The correct clothes, car, investments and blah, blah, blah. It does nothing to build our true selves. It’s a blip of happiness, perhaps.
Our faults, from biting our fingernails to overcoming shame, abuse, addictions are not done in a vacuum. I have a heavenly Father. An unseen partner, who dwells inside me and gives me strength. He provides others to teach, counsel and encourage. He also gives me awareness. I can’t change if I’m not aware. It’s not a judgmental thing or condemning thing. It’s a gentle yet firm voice. Let’s do this together.
Overcoming a small, bad habit like gossip, isn’t a one-and-done thing. Grace is necessary, practice is necessary, thank God, He pours grace on us, as we stumble to replace gossip, for example, with an open heart. Something always comes along to replace my frailties, foibles and sin. Even something as mundane as biting my nails was overcome with knitting to keep those darn hands busy while asking God for strength. I rewarded myself with pretty nail polish and sparkly rings. It’s okay to celebrate victories, no matter how small, too.
Sometimes we have bigger, much bigger problems, like addictions, trauma, abuse that need attention and healing. God sends his strength through his Holy Spirit, support groups, counselors, His Word, books and trusted friends. It can be humbling to ask for help. Humbling develops character and compassion for ourselves and others on our journey. We dig deep. Sometimes take a break. God waits.
Asking for help is actually a very valued strength. It’s valued in the Word. Jesus described himself: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. If it’s not gentle and humble, whose voice is it? May our hearts be the same toward ourselves and others. Gentle. Humble. Open.
Father, thank you for your strength that I may overcome. Help me to be a strength for myself and others with humble, gentle and open heart. Thank you for grace when I stumble. Thank you for grace and wisdom to try again and again and again. Thank you for your patience.