I am sure many of you have heard of this common saying, “You are much stronger than you think.” I really love that saying, and I love how it creates belief and self-confidence in oneself, which we oh-so-often need. However, in the same measure, I have come to realize that, more often than not, we are also much weaker than we think.
We are often faced with problems, dilemmas, struggles and temptations of all sorts, be it physically, emotionally or spiritually, and one thing that I have come to learn is that, we often believe in ourselves a little too much. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to believe in our strength,
Lemme give an illustration to help you understand my point:
Think of recovering alcoholics. As they undergo rehabilitation, they are taught to completely steer clear of alcohol. Imagine that this one person finally comes back home from rehab. If he follows all the advice that he was given in rehab, his recovery will be steady. Eventually, he can even learn to resist alcohol completely, even when it’s right in-front of him. Also imagine that this person is invited to a party at a local bar by a friend. The best decision would be to not go, so as to avoid being exposed to the temptation to drink alcohol. However, this person believes that he can steer clear, because he has been sober for over six months, and he strongly believes in his willpower to say no. Even as he enters the local bar, he feels strong, and he knows he can resist; but a few hours into the party, he gives in and has a sip of beer. Despite that, he still believes that ‘he’s in control’. One sip becomes two, two becomes three, three becomes an entire glass of beer and in no time, he completely loses his self-control, and gets lost in the alcohol around him. Of course, it is good that he had faith in his will power, but by surrounding himself to the temptation of the very habit that he needed to conquer, he contributed to the failure of his will power.
I don’t know what the ‘alcohol’ in your life is; it could be bad friends, it could be laziness, it could be sin (which we all struggle to keep off), it could be anything. You yourself know what exactly it is. If you have bad influence around you, don’t keep convincing yourself that you can still hang out with them without compromising your goals, morals or beliefs. Even if you resolve to do so, they are still your ‘alcohol’ and you are poking the desire for that alcohol within you by hanging out with them. If you are lazy, don’t try to convince yourself that small mistakes like waking up ten minutes later or procrastinating your work to the next day ‘so you can focus better’ is helping you. That laziness is your ‘alcohol’ and every small instance of laziness is simply you visiting your local bar. You won’t stay ‘sober’ for long by doing so. If your ‘alcohol’ is sin, don’t convince yourself that you are fully resistant to temptation. Yes! Our goal is to be able to completely say no to temptation. However, the easiest and most efficient way to do that is to flee from it. Don’t say that you are ready to stop gossiping, yet you are always hanging out with that one friend of yours who is the town gossip. Don’t say that you are ready to stop lying, yet you put yourself in compromising situations which convince you that it’s ‘okay’ to lie. Don’t say that you won’t sin, then go ahead to tap sin on the shoulder, convinced that you are strong enough to resist it. You may be strong enough to say no, but what if you are not?
My simple point is that, you are as weak as you are strong. It’s good to believe in yourself, and in your ability to resist or deal with temptation/struggles/dilemmas, etc. However, if you keep exposing yourself to compromising situations whose aim is to test, and most probably eventually destroy your control and/or your will power, you will never have the full ability to learn how to resist them.
Remember that, in our weakness, we are made strong. Therefore, it’s only when we own up our weakness that God can come to our aid and make us strong. Keep praying for the strength to resist your ‘alcohol’, whatever it may be; and while you’re doing that, keep away from that very ‘alcohol’.
Lay down your ‘alcohol’ or your weakness before God, whatever it may be, and trust Him to do the rest!
5. You are as weak as you are strong.
Believe in your strength, believe in your will power, believe in your ability to resist or deal with temptation, but in the same measure, do not expose yourself to compromising situations that put your strength to the test, because you may be weaker than you think.
Thank you so much for reading. Remember to always:
Have a lovely week ahead!:)