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.”2 Corinthians 12:9

In 2nd Corinthians, Paul is writing to the church and he starts talking about his thorn. Paul came from a new culture of rabbis where everything was hedged – it was  not only about perfection, but perfection in protecting your perfection. They had layers and layers of stuff they had to do. These legalistic environments are always soul killing. When you constantly feel like you can’t keep up with other holy people, you start wanting to keep secrets about your life. You don’t want to reveal these things you have in you life because you’ll deal with it later,  figure it out, or sort it out. It’s a death spiral. Paul was in this world of legalism – you’re in the kingdom of God when you do everything perfect and you’re out when you mess up. But then he had an actual encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ and his life was completely transformed. And the first book Paul writes as a young guy is Galatians, and it’s just smothered in grace.  He writes about how gracious God is and how all of his works are just junk compared to the glory in Christ Jesus. He just goes on and on about how awesome and amazing the love and the grace of God is for messed up and broken sinners like himself. He moved from a world of perfection management and sin management to a world of grace.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for Paul. Thank you for teaching us through Paul. That we can’t be perfect, and we shouldn’t try to make ourselves seem that way. You grace washes over us.

REFLECTION: Do you ever feel like Paul? Trying so hard to be perfect?

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