Do you remember the “opposite game”? When I was a kid, I used to play it often with friends. “Yes” meant “no”; “cold” meant “hot”; and “I’m tired and need a nap” meant “I’m full of energy and am dying to go outside and play.” As a kid, that game was always fun for me. I’m not exactly sure why… maybe its just my quirky personality; maybe I just found humor in the irony of the game itself.
The Christian life can sometimes feel like the opposite game since we often find ourselves pursuing the opposite of what the world pursues and shunning what the world values. Our human nature tells us that self-sufficiency is the greatest goal we could achieve, but Christ says, “be weak, and find your strength in Me.” The world says, “trust your own ability and talents.” God says, “do not lean on your own understanding, but trust Me to direct your paths.” Our culture tells us to value property and possessions, but Jesus reminds us that this world is not our home.
What the world sees as weakness, God sees as strength… what the world sees as freedom is really slavery to sin whereas true obedience to Christ (which to the world would look like slavery) is really true freedom. To the world, the gospel seems foolish, but to the Christian, it is the most precious truth ever revealed.
I often find myself struggling with this dichotomy. The approval to be “great” in the worlds eyes is so pervasive… it invades my job, my friendships, my purchases and so many other areas of my life. But God’s view of greatness is humility and dependence on Him. When we are at our weakest, we find the greatest strength in the power He provides.
The Apostle Paul mentioned this in his second letter to the Corinthian church. Paul pleaded with God for healing and strength and God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” [then Paul said:] “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Let us strive to be content with our weakness and look to God for our strength. What are some areas where God is calling you to play the “opposite game” and live for what He values instead of what the world values?