Thorn in my flesh (ouch!)

Part of the requirement for attending DTS is to listen to at least 10 chapels each semester.  They are usually quite good and the one I was listening to today was no exception.  The subject was humility and suffering, something none of us is good at or likes to do (at least I don’t) no matter how much we might get to “practice.”  The scripture under discussion was 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.  In verses 7-9 Paul writes, “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.’  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” – (NLT).

Do you ever wonder why at times you struggle?  Why there is always something that tempts you or you are having problems overcoming?  It could be that the things we struggle with are meant to keep us from becoming proud.  There’s nothing that teaches me humility like having to ask someone for help.  I’d like to think I am self-sufficient but that is hardly the case (just ask Chris!).  And some things you can’t ask for help from others, the only one that can help is God.  One way we learn to rely on him is by struggling with things too big for us to control so that we have no choice but to give the situation up to God – an uncomfortable place to be.  “Coming to the end of ourselves” as Kathy likes to say.

I wonder how this might apply to parenting?  It could be that we struggle as parents to keep our parental pride in check.  Or it might remind us that as well as encouraging our children we also need to teach them humility as well.

Do you have a “thorn in the flesh” when it comes to parenting?  Or do you have a suggestion on a good way to teach a child humility?  How might speaking about parental weaknesses bring glory to God?

In case you’re interested in the Chapel, you can find it here:



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