Boast When You Are Weak

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I think it is safe to say that most people are not proud of their weak moments.  It is better to boast on what makes us weak, rather than on what makes us strong, because it is in our most vulnerable moments that God’s glory shines through us.  In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus gives us examples of two men who went to the temple to pray, one man was thanking God for how strong he was and how righteous he was, yet the other man was sorrowful due to all that was wrong.  Jesus then explained that the second man was the one who went home justified.

Jesus said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14).  Why?  Doesn’t God want us to obtain righteousness after all?  Then why would God want us to not glory in seeking and obtaining righteousness we might ask?  Does God contradict  himself?  I’m confused…. What I have found out through trial and error during my Christian walk (actually what God has graciously taught me) is that true righteousness comes from the heart.

Psalm 51:17 NLT “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God”.  It is not our works that makes us righteous, but it is our faith that confirms to us that God sees us as right.  According to Romans 8:30 Paul explains that it is God who first called us, and then justified us.  Those he justifies he later glorifies when the time is right, but this is something he does.  It is from the heart that righteousness comes from.  It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, and when we have a heart full of humility, knowing that nothing within ourselves is good except that which God refined in us, then when we speak it adds life to the listeners and confirms the truth.

What is the truth?  The truth is that none of us are truly righteous.  Yet when we confess our sins, God then purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  It is the person who is first full of their own weakness and humility who once they are lifted up, understands that it is not of themselves.  Therefore, when they approach someone who is full of sin and seems lost, they are able to season their words with salt from a heart full of humility rather than arrogant pride.  When we become strong and righteous, when we finally overcome… do you know that we become least in the Kingdom of God.. that is the more proud we become, the more unrighteous we become?  A heart full of judgement and pride cannot love as Jesus loved.  Jesus was only able to love because he was lowly in spirit.  Even though his actions were blameless at all times, once he was called “good” by someone, and he corrected that man saying, “why do you call me good?  There is only one good and that is God” (Mark 10:18).

Please don’t get me wrong, it is God who inspires us to do good works.  It is God who leads us on his paths of righteousness.  It is God who calls a pure, spotless bride.  The catch is, it is also God who justifies and purifies.  It is the heart attitude of a person that makes a man/woman right.  It is humility, faithfulness, loyalty, genuine love and consideration, esteeming others above themselves that is right.  What we eat, what we wear, and the works of our hands never makes us right, this is why I rarely judge a person by their outward appearances.  A person covered in tattoos smoking a cigar and drinking a beer can be more righteous than the man standing across from them wearing a suit with a tie, who would never touch a cigarette.   Does that make the first person right?  We all know that some things that we do to our bodies or put in our bodies are not good for us, and it is common to see a born again man of God start to put away such things as they are purified.  Yet, it is not the putting away of those things that makes that man righteous, it is their contrite heart before God.

When I am weak, then I am strong.  Oh, I love this verse yet I still abhor being weak sometimes.  I would rather be strong, never giving into temptation, never having a bad moment.. but it is the desire to do right that begins to purify us (1 John 3:3), because … righteousness comes from the heart.  It is the hunger to be right and the knowledge to know I am not.  It is the cry of a contrite heart that pleases God.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Apostle Paul says, “I will brag all the more in my weakness, so that Christ’s power will rest on me”.

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The Purpose of a Man

So what is the purpose of having a man in my life anyways? This is what I’ve really began asking myself. I was someone who always had to have a “man”, like I say “I don’t do single well”. Getting a boyfriend has never been a problem for me truthfully. Ever since I was 11 years old I had had boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend. It went from holding hands to my first kiss to further escalation real quick. I discovered a few things at a very young age, hormones, and.. how good it felt to be desired. I went through some phases of dressing provocatively to being modest, to something in between. I used to spend an hour in the bathroom everyday fixing my hair and my make up even if I didn’t have plans to go anywhere, which was most days. I just knew I was good looking and enjoyed being good looking. Now a day I spend less then 10 minutes on putting on make up if I feel like it. Also, big hair isn’t popular like it used to be so I prefer the natural look now. Every once in awhile I will spend an extra 15 minutes straight ironing my hair (yes still the fad), but I have learned to embrace my natural thick waves and putting some hair gel in occasionally works just as well, and it is easy.

So, back to my topic, I had always had a man in my life. I still recall when I was just 19 years old crying to a family member because I was single and wanted to be married so bad and was convinced that I would be single for the rest of my days. My uncle was like “but you’re 19” lol. Boy, did I get what I wished for. Long story short because I was so desperate to be married I settled with yes a good guy, but with someone who I really didn’t love in earnest and who I really wasn’t compatible with.. just for the sake of getting married. 11 years and 4 kids later it eventually ended in divorce. Despite my hardest attempts to make it work and be happy. Despite my sacrifices for the sake of doing God’s will and sticking it out. Eventually my human weakness got the best of me, and also I will point out that I ignored God when it came to marrying him, because God told me no. However, I still didn’t learn my lesson .. again and again and again.. which brings me to now. Now I am a single mom of 6 kids and just now willing to figure these things out. Please, if anyone is listening, heed my message and learn from my mistakes.

The value of a man? You see I know someone who just wants to be married like I used to feel, and when plan A isn’t working for them, they move on to plan B, and then plan C. I am convinced they will not stop until they obtain that spouse, and truth is I feel sorry for them and truth is I hope against all odds they marry the person who will make them happy life long. Because I’ve learned that when you are in such a desperate state to be with someone, you most likely are going to do it wrong. So, even now I can have a boyfriend, but I no longer seek to fix my single status. I have learned the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, like most everyone else I still hope for and have faith for meeting Mr. Right, however before I am really ready for Mr. Right I first have to be satisfied with just me, and the friends the Lord blesses me with. That is what I secretly yearn for I’ll confide, just a good friend. Sex doesn’t have to be involved as a matter of fact sex just seems to be all wrong even though I love sex but I aim to do it right this time. Why do I want a man? I want a companion but “man”, none are perfect, not even the good ones. It used to be “find a good man”, now it is “no man will do unless I have peace” and anymore I just don’t have peace. I’m discovering that until things are right on the inside of me no man will ever be good enough for me. I will manage to either hook up with the wrong person who has the wrong motives, or who has the right motives but my motives are not right so why does it matter? The only reason a man and woman should ever marry is if they just cannot live without each other, this is my conclusion. Not to have a space filler, or to have a sex partner (though this is a good motivator for marriage). Nope, the value of a man is someone who I can love as a brother or friend in the Lord right now, who I can learn from, who can maybe help me with “man” things all us women need a “handyman”, but mostly I need to only be surrounded by good men. Bad men, stay away.