Power. Intelligence. Athletic ability. Efficiency. Winning. Affluence. Visibility.
These are among the values we hold in high esteem, idolize… even worship.
Human frailty, failure, weakness, and poverty we avoid like the plague.
In our society there is little room or tolerance for those who are second or third string. Not a lot of respect among us for older people — they’re out of date. Slow. Not “with it.”
So what happens when God decides to deal with our pride through illness and frailty… possibly through failure? What happens when we cannot call the shots, control the circumstances, or determine the outcome?
Is our peace of mind and our sense of worth so fragile that it is predicated upon the guarantee of life’s optimum circumstances or upon a continual string of successes and recognition? Or is it based upon an inner intimacy with Jesus Christ? If not, then God has some serious spade work to do on our soul.
Remember, our Sovereign Father’s two primary objectives are His glory, and the development of our character into Christlikeness, and He will use whatever means necessary to accomplish them. Pain, C. S. Lewis argued, may well be God’s megaphone to a morally deaf world.
“I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I did this. How can I let Myself be defamed? I will not yield My glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:10, 11)
As long as we are relying upon our accomplishments or bowing to the world’s idols to gain our peace or sense of worth, God is unable to work in and through us. Because it is only in our weakness… yes, in our dependency upon Him that He chooses to work and to give us inner-contentment:
“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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10)
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12b-13)
QUESTION: Do you need a paradigm shift in values? What do you think God thinks?