Take Off The Mask

by Min. Andre Gilford

From Amazing Grace – The ROHO Devotional Series

Watch the Sermon: Tell the Whole Truth by Pastor John Faison

Read: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Exposing my troubles has always been a problem for me. Growing up in church, I subliminally learned to not show my failings and to portray the best of myself. In my household, it was a regular saying to “don’t air your dirty laundry” for any display of weakness was disdained. The underlying message was to let people see you at your best at ALL times, no matter how hard you are struggling to make sure the best part of you is maintained. Though I was breaking inside and struggling to live, I could not share that truth.

If we are to be like Christ, we must struggle like Christ. A major part of being human is struggle. Paul is teaching us in this Scripture that is OK to have trials and tribulations and that they help us to allow Christ to work through us. If we do not struggle, how then are we able to depend fully on Christ? Struggling and enduring pain forces us to not rely on our human capabilities, but to rest and rely on God’s supernatural abilities. Therefore, it is OK to show your pain and to not have everything together. You are God’s project and God is working through you to make you into what God wants you to be. You may not be where you want to be and it’s alright. Free yourself and let everyone see the workings of our Almighty God.

About The Author

Andre Gilford Andre Gilford Jr is a seminarian, high school teacher, and writer from Detroit committed to the gospel of love and justice for all.

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