I finally figured out that I’m not flexible. The strength training I’m doing is great, but it needs to be accompanied with stretching all the tendons and ligaments that connect my muscle and bones. If one area of my body becomes stronger, the weakness in other areas become painfully obvious….literally.
So I’ve begun to stretch. I stretch while watching the kids play, before or after my time with God, even during a family movie night. Finally, I’ve noticed a difference in my performance. I don’t hurt as much, and my aches and pains have lessened because my body is better able to withstand the stress.
I have noticed this same connection in my spiritual life. Many times Christians work hard at building our strength as Christians; yet we get hurt easily. Someone says something or does something, and we immediately take offense. Something happens in our life and we get offended at God. We become strong Christians who are weak with mercy, grace and loyalty.
Christians can be spiritual-powerhouses all they want; but if they’re groveling over all the offenses they receive, they’ll never fulfill their destiny to the fullest. We gain our greatest range of movement when we are flexible. God wants our influence to be mighty in His Kingdom, so He’ll stretch us so He can use us in amazing and wide-ranging ways.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being offended. I want to shine glory on God’s throne, so I’m determined to allow God to stretch me until it is uncomfortable — even a bit painful. But I know that when He is done, I’ll won’t find myself hurting all of the time. I trust God’s hand in my life, and I will lean on Him instead of clinging onto hurt.
Have you encountered an offense lately? Did you not offer mercy and grace only to feel bad about it later? How has God been stretching you?
“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17.9 NIV).