Just As I Am

"But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 6-10 (NRSV)

Timothy Olumide is from Osun State, Nigeria. Most of his religious friends seem to think that religious people should fit a particular mold. Timothy is outgoing and inquisitive, and his friends don't think he should behave that way. Many times he has been confronted and attacked based on his personality and came to resent who he was - even vigorously begging God to change him. Timothy loves spending time with other Christians but he can't hide his true self to fit their idea of what he should be like.

Timothy waited for God to remove his extrovert tendencies so that he would appear "Spiritual" to his church and his religious friends. Then these words gave him perspective: God's "grace is sufficient for me." Timothy now sees that his outgoing personality gives him opportunities to initiate conversations. Knowing who he is in God helped him to speak to others who feel rejected, for he knows God is there with him. Timothy now has more fully experienced love from God - the One who accepts him just as he is.

What an encouragement to know that the Lord can be glorified even when we are misunderstood and misjudged. We can come to God - just as we are. Praise God!!!

Prayer: Dear Savior, thank you for loving us as we are. Help us to make our lives reflect the truth of your word, in Jesus' name,amen.

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