Thorns…Or Chains?

Have you ever heard someone say, “He would be a really great guy if he didn’t struggle with (blank). Or “If she didn’t have trouble with (blank), she could do such great things for God.”

Often, I try to pass my weaknesses off as thorns, as in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10-

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

But really, I need to get real, and acknowledge them for the chains that they are. I believe people are given thorns in the flesh: difficulties that work out to glorify God, and make grace sufficient in a person’s life. I don’t believe that every single weakness I have is to be considered a thorn. If it were, that would excuse me from trying to change, to continue in becoming more like Christ. There would be no hope for a person who was stuck with her faults, a person enslaved to sin. This is not God’s will for me- He wants me enslaved only to Him, the best master one could have.
The new year is approaching and (call it cliche if you wish) my thoughts turn to new year’s resolutions. I’m planning some posts to talk about the old habits/weaknesses, chains, I hope to loosen (with God’s power) in the coming year. If I am serious about growing and changing, I won’t make any more excuses. I’ll get running.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

One Reply to “Thorns…Or Chains?”

  1. Thanks! I look forward to reading the posts on this topic. I have been thinking similar thoughts about the coming year the past couple days, and trying to start now while I’m thinking of it. It is very humbling, yet good, to be reminded of what I do wrong when I try harder to do it God’s way and see it being to work so quickly. Praise God! He is always there to help us be more Christ-like and who He created us to be for His glory. Thank you for a great topic to pray about as the New Year always makes me want to change what I did wrong the last one! 🙂

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