Growth Requires a Teachable Attitude
Ramblings from Connor’s dad – Connor I know it is easy to believe, but your siblings have flaws and defects. I know it is HARD to believe, but you do to! I’ve had the privilege to meet some incredible people. Super successful business people, authors, speakers, and performers. Each of them as great as they were, had flaws.
One of my favorite authors is Paul. His ministry was unlike any other with his stories of prison, hardship, dealing with hunger or cold, not to mention ship wrecks! In Corinthians Paul tells us “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)
Whatever the thorn was, it troubled Paul enough that he pleaded with God three times to remove it. I believe we aren’t told what the thorn was so we can relate. We can plug our thorn in its place and say if Paul had it too, and dealt with it, even ministered in spite of it, maybe I can.
As far as I can tell, he did not build his ministry around his thorn, he had his ministry in spite of it. Paul didn’t let his thorn define him. I do however, think it kept him dependent on God. Paul tells us that God told him His grace would be sufficient. In fact it was sufficient enough to enable Paul to write 13 books in the new testament. Rick Warren believes Paul maximized it through meditation, prayer, fasting, Bible study, simplicity, stewardship, solitude, submission, service and evangelism.
Paul was no accident, nor are we! God made us exactly the way He wanted us. We each have all the options, programming, features, and yes, thorns that He wants us to have, for OUR ministry. His grace will be sufficient for us in what HE wants us to do…in spite of our thorns, like depression, stuttering, appearance, family background, health, address or bank account. If He can do it for Paul or Moses, He can do it for you….
Father, help me do today, what You want me to do, with what You have given me to do it with, far beyond my expectations, so that it is SO apparent Your grace was sufficient. I pray that today people will see Jesus in me, in such a way, that they will want Him in their lives, too. In His precious name, amen.