The Great Irony

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Peter Lundell –

I messed up three times in two days in an area of my expertise, that of making and fixing things. I felt foolish, incompetent, and made no excuse for my errors. But rather than sink into self-condemnation, I talked to God about it. And as I did I grew closer to him. My mistakes and weaknesses magnify my human frailty and lack, as yours probably do to you as well. In a positive view, this enforces humility in me. In turn I crave the embrace of my heavenly Father, who loves me anyway.

Then I reach a profound irony, not unlike the Apostle Paul’s “when I am weak I am strong”: When aware of my human failing, I move closer to God and experience a greater measure of His peace, His power, even His pleasure, than when I am outwardly successful or victorious.

Success is great—I want more of it—yet the other side of the irony is that when I focus on my success or victory, I easily become self-confident. Which is fine, but it diminishes my sense of needing God and drawing close to him. I subtly lose intimacy with God.

The irony is capped with the result that I find myself gravitating toward whatever highlights my shortcomings—not that I try to be an incompetent fool, but that I cultivate a heart and mind to affirm my shortcomings. Doing this is truly better than the self-orientation we as humans gravitate toward if our focus is only on our victories and successes.

I think God lets us fail and struggle because he loves us. He has implanted shortcomings in us to draw us near to him and to receive completeness in him. In his eyes, that is the greatest success, the greatest victory.

“[The Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV).

“Lord, I am so imperfect. Open my eyes and heart and mind to always embrace my inadequacies that they would draw me closer to You, that I would always find my completeness and my value in You.”

About Peter Lundell

Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power and other books, is a writer, pastor, and Bible college teacher. At you can see his books, subscribe to his inspirational “Connections,” and get free downloads of many articles, parables, and short stories.


One Response to “The Great Irony”
  1. Mollie says:

    Love this! It’s so freeing to know that it’s not dependent upon me and when I make it, or when I mess up.

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