The young woman offering us customer service was pleasant and upbeat. She assured us that our billing issues with her company would be promptly resolved.
When I noticed the following month that our bill continued to climb, I contacted her again. She assured me once again that, of course, she would take care of the problem right away.
It’s been three months’ worth of attempts now, and the problem still hasn’t been resolved.
I noticed something interesting in my interactions with this young woman. Her confident, positive, can-do attitude is typical of culture today. Which may seem like a good thing on the surface, but there are a couple of problems.
First, super-positive hype doesn’t necessarily mean things get done.
Second, and more importantly, the root cause of today’s über-positive attitude and overusage of superlatives is fear.
Fear that we won’t seem competent. Fear that others won’t think well of us. Fear that we’ll look lame and someone else will get the gig.
So we mask our fears and make statements like:
Why? Because our culture keeps feeding us the message,
You have to be awesome. You have to crush this (job interview, presentation, sales pitch, whatever). You must always be strong and on top of your game.
Yet NOBODY crushes it all the time.
Many times it would be more accurate to say that instead of us “crushing it,” it is crushing us—whatever “it” may be at the moment.
Job loss. Illness. Troubled marriage.
So what do we do when life is crushing us, instead of the other way around?
We learn to rely on a strength that comes from beyond us.
“But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.” – Isaiah 53:5
Jesus was crushed for you, so you don’t have to be crushed—and so you don’t have to continually “crush it.”
He took our sins on himself and suffered in our place. He permanently paid for all our mess-ups.
You can stop trying to be perfect now.
What everyone thinks of you isn’t what matters. Succeeding at everything you undertake isn’t what matters. Being awesome isn’t what matters.
What matters is that you are loved and accepted exactly the way you are, mess-ups, shortcomings, limitations and all, by the God who created you.
That’s good news, isn’t it?
You don’t have to be Superman or Wonder Woman. You can live within your limitations. You can even tell people you’ll do your best without promising them the moon—because proving your own capabilities is not the point.
A funny thing about this new source of strength—God does his best work as a direct result of our weakness.
The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (he’s quoting God):
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.”
This goes beyond accepting our limitations to actually bragging about them!
By bragging about our “un-awesomeness,” we show off Jesus instead of ourselves. We make much of him. We point to where the real power in our life comes from.
Real confidence doesn’t come from having a “yeah, dude” attitude. It doesn’t come from exaggerating our abilities.
Real confidence—real strength—comes from knowing we are weak and He is strong.
How are you pressured to succeed right now?
Are you willing to boast in your weakness—and let Jesus’ power work on your behalf?