So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
John 8:36 (NLT)
“What if I told you, you don’t need to be fixed?” I stared at the video screen as my Bible study group and I watched the week’s lesson…and I was just a little indignant. I liked this particular teacher and was learning a lot from her but this statement boggled my mind. It went against what I believed. After all, I have spent a lifetime “fixing” those little and big things about myself that I believed needed to change so I would become more “acceptable” to Jesus. My mind wanted to reject this statement…but my heart…something deep inside my heart jumped and something that felt a lot like hope surfaced that maybe…just maybe…this was true.
I think there is a good chance that you are a little like me as well. You believe there are things in your life that God wants to “fix”…little flaws in your personality that you wish were different. And I’m willing to bet that statement, “You don’t need to be fixed”, brings a rush of mixed feelings…disbelief and hope at the same time.
It took a few weeks fo praying and studying through Scripture before I accepted the truth of that statement…and boy, was it difficult to believe. But as I observed Jesus in the gospels, I saw His influence on those around Him. And while He healed many people and instructed them to “go and sin no more”, His teaching and actions did not instruct them to change their basic personality. He didn’t say to Peter, “Hey, Pete…we need to work on your impulsiveness and address those anger issues.” And while He asked the future apostle Paul, “Why are you persecuting me?”, He didn’t say, “Paul, you’ve got to be less judgmental about other people. Change that and then come talk to me about how you can be on my team.”
In fact, Paul teaches us the exact opposite:
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. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
Paul understood that Jesus works best in our weakness. Not in spite of or after He fixes our weaknesses. It reminds me of my marriage. My husband, Jeff, and I both have strengths and weaknesses that when put together make us a pretty good team. Jeff is not great with numbers and working with finances actually gives Him a headache. But I am great with finances and truly enjoy handling them. I hate dealing with the details of home maintenance, like maintaining our yard, pool, etc. and if left to me, the state of our home would be complete disrepair. But Jeff is really good at taking care of all of those details. Our relationship would not necessarily become stronger if He would get it together and learn how to do finances well or if I would pay attention and handle the details of home maintenance. In fact, the opposite might even happen…we would no longer rely on each other in these areas and might become “self-sufficient”, weakening a bond that actually draws us together.
Jeff and I rely on each other. And while Jesus doesn’t need me or rely on me, He wants me. He is perfect love and His love for me is perfect. My love is not yet perfected and He knows that in our relationship, I must “need” Him in my life so I don’t become too self-sufficient. I think that is why Jesus created each of us with certain weaknesses…so we would need Him and turn to Him.
So what about all of the “fixing” I feel like Jesus has been doing throughout my life? As I think back through those areas I believe Jesus and I have “fixed” together, I realize that the truth is that Jesus wasn’t fixing me at all…He was actually freeing me. Because that’s is what we really need…freedom. Freedom from past hurts and failures. Freedom from shame. And as I experience that freedom, I draw closer and closer to Jesus until He actually starts to shine through the various areas of my life that I used to consider weaknesses.
Jesus doesn’t try to change how He made us…for everything He made is good…including you and me. Instead He accepts us just as we are and lovingly reminds us that we don’t need to be fixed…we simply need Jesus.
Jesus…we need you. We need you to come into our every day lives and do the work that only You can do. Free us from past hurts, shame and sin. We invite you into every one of our weaknesses. We want to learn to depend on you. Create a bond between us that cannot be broken so that we too will learn to boast in our weaknesses because that is where You shine through…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 very sweet grandson! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, writing, or working with women. In the evenings she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, painting, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading. But one of her favorite passions is playing with her grandson and laughing at his bright smile! You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.