This article was originally published at HorizonsResources.net
“If we are willing to live by Scripture, we must be willing to live by paradox and contradiction and surprise.” -Madeleine L’Engle
In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes about the paradox of our weaknesses as followers of Christ. “But he 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)
If we were sitting across from each other at a coffee shop, hands curled around warm drinks in the type of atmosphere that fosters vulnerability, I would tell you that most of the time, these paradoxes in our faith unsettle me. The difficulty with feeling unsettled about this passage is that I am often tempted to believe lies about what it actually says. The words get twisted in my mind, bent out of their original shape and meaning.
A few months ago, I took a cue from an artist I enjoy and started writing down lies that were bumping around in my head. He assigns the words to cartoon drawings of monsters, something I think is both funny and helpful. When I was thinking through this passage, I started writing down the lies I have believed about what it says, and they fall into three main categories. Maybe these words have been in the mouths of some of your own cartoon monsters.