I don’t understand how grace works. After the apostle Paul begged the Lord three times to take away his handicap, he received this answer instead,
“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.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But whether or not I understand it, I want to believe it, and if his grace is proved plenty in my lack, I want to embrace it.
So what am I to do with Les Parrott’s new book, You’re Stronger than You Think?
Or is Christ? Thankfully, Parrott writes as a fellow believer that the Lord is our source of strength. He divides his book into three ways we tap into that source: through our mind, our heart, and our soul.
The Power of Your Mind
As one who can specialize in analyzing, I appreciate Parrott’s admonition here to stop that.
You may think you’re gaining valuable insight by analyzing every detail, but you’re not. Overthinking is not your friend. It makes your mind tense, keeps you stuck in your head, and immobilizes your motivations.
There’s a difference between thinking rationally versus reasoning excessively. The latter leads to a cluttered mind that becomes burdened and sluggish. Instead, clearing our mind of overstimulation can open us up to the grace of hearing the still, small voice of God (or maybe his loud one!) and of receiving his answers in true strength.
The Power of Your Heart
The paradox of finding our strength when we own our weakness isn’t just psychological mumbo-jumbo. Hiding or ignoring our weaknesses can make them stronger, but exposing them to the Light can bring healing. God often teaches us our most valuable lessons when we’re at our lowest points.
Trying to go it alone can sabotage our heart’s power. God made us to be a people who connect, and in those connections—with others and with him—we find common strength.
We are most real when we are most known and loved. And here’s the secret: The more real we become, the more love we experience. And the more love we experience, the more real we become.
The Power of Your Soul
Emptying ourselves—surrendering—is not giving up, but is our greatest opportunity to fill up. In losing our life for Love’s sake, we find it. Parrott says,
Emptied of what? Of the burden we so often carry—the burden of needing to get our own way. It’s the burden and tension of holding on to our lives with clenched fists.
While not easy, and never to be done under our own power, surrendering a life of soul safety means picking up a life of risk. And therein lies more passion—and strength—for our souls.
Passion does not produce commitment. Commitment produces passion.
Once you give yourself to a person or a project, you become passionate. It’s not the other way around. Your commitment fuels a devotion and a passion that last long after the average person has given up.
Parrott suggests these practical ways to make this real: release your burden, bless your pain, start a gratitude journal, make a plan for being less helpless, quit playing it safe, do it anyway, and take a bold step.
What is our source of power to accomplish any of these things? The grace of God. And how do we make peace with being too weak on our own? The grace of God
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
* * *
THANKS TO TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHING
FOR THE COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF THIS BOOK
Day 17 of . . .