When I am reading, I often run across a quote that I sense will speak to men on the journey. This quote is from William McDavid. “Being loved with weaknesses, being truly loved and being self-sufficient are in conflict. Being loved, at its height, means being loved within our weakness and failures, being loved in a way that is simultaneous with being known. But being self-sufficient means pretending those weaknesses do not exist, it entails performing and earning.” Other than scripture, this is a quote worthy of a place on your mirror when you shave each morning. As someone who has labored on the journey for many years, this quote is “pure manna” for the souls of men.
When I read this quote I was reminded of the Apostle Paul, boasting of his weakness. “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (II Cor11:30). Again he says of himself, “I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses” (II Cor 12:5). Paul could live vulnerably because of his assurance of God’s grace in his life. “But he (Lord) 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” (II Cor 12:9). In all of his difficulties he learned that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Cor 12:10).
Why is this quote “manna” for our souls. My comments are the result of a great deal of “trial and error” on the journey to a more integrated sense of my masculinity. First, I need to let my guard down. My self-sufficiency leaves me lonely and isolated from God, myself and others, in a dark cave of isolation. In my self sufficiency I cancel out the grace of God that has the power to bring healing to my frightened and insecure heart. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So, Al keep your wounded heart open to the grace of God. His power will show through my weaknesses.
Secondly, when I am willing to dismantle my protective wall, I am surprised that God truly loves me within my weaknesses and failures. Not till I open my heart to the love of God, do I come the wonderful realization that God loves the real me, in all my “stink.” If God loves you the way you are, Al, the real you, its makes it easier to accept the real me; the good, the bad and the ugly.
Thirdly, I realize that my “performing” for God, that is, my pretending is really a cover for failing to accept my weaknesses. I have spent too much time and energy trying to “earn” God’s favor. It is wonderful to just rest and relax in his love as a “beloved sinner.” God give me grace to “boast” in my weakness, because that is when I will experience your power make perfect in my life.