This video has gone viral among my Christian friends. People are posting it with goosebumps and teary eyes, feeling a spark of hope and joy and excitement and strength. And I wanted to believe the best – that these feelings were prompted by some vital, awe inspiring truth of God’s Word. I clicked “play” with an open mind, wondering what this video was to cause such a stir.
Sadly, I was disappointed. I say this gently because I love and respect many of the people I have seen share this video. I don’t like to be the one that’s always finding fault, but this one is deeply important to my heart.
It’s important because this is a band-aid to a deep wound; it’s like offering pain killers to someone instead of curing what’s causing them pain. “I just want to give you these pain killers so you forget about the pain for a while and it’ll come back, but just take more pain killers when it does. Don’t worry about what’s causing the pain, just take the pain pills.”
You see, when you play the right music and say the right words, anyone can get goosebumps. It’s how they get you hyped up at conferences when they want you to feel good about yourself. And then you go home and crash. This is a pep talk to get us emotional and excited and you know what? Pep talks aren’t always bad. But they are if they’re building you up with something other than the truth.
The problem with this video is that it plays into a real need by using a glimpse of truth to sell itself. It takes our longing as women to feel loved, to know love, and speaks to the innate knowledge within us that we were created to be loved perfectly and wholly by our Savior. The glimpse of truth is that you are loved, but in a way so much more beautiful than this video tells. In a way so much more beautiful than it ever could. But it could do it more justice than it does.
Ultimately, the problem with this video is that every word and every conclusion comes down to me, instead of God. All the glorification is of me. The focus is me. I am awesome. And God? Well, He loves me because I deserve to be loved. But the truth of the matter is that our life isn’t about us. Our main purpose on this earth is to glorify our Heavenly Father and enjoy Him forever. We aren’t called to always feel good about ourselves and we’re certainly not called to glorify ourselves. We, as Christians, are called to point others to God’s glory and that happens most often through our own weakness. As the apostle Paul says:
“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
So isn’t it better fitting to say, “You fall short, you are weak, you lose sight of the truth, you struggle to be kind, you despair, all of your good works combined could not gain you salvation, your flesh overcomes you, your mind overwhelms you, your heart betrays you, and you fail daily. And yet God, in His love and mercy, gave His Son’s life so that you might have His righteousness, know His love, live in His strength, and be conformed to His image.”?
Sounds a little like this:
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:1-10
Not because we deserve it. Not of any good works of our own. Not because we’re worth dying for. But because GOD, who’s love is so bountiful, chose to love us in spite of our weakness and in spite of our nature.
WHO YOU ARE AS A WOMAN IN CHRIST –
You, my dear woman, are loved beyond words. You are loved with a love that sees past your imperfections and sees the beauty that God placed within you in the first place. A love that looks at the coal and sees the diamond it can become. A love that isn’t based on your social ranking or your relationship status or your church attendance – a love that isn’t founded in your ability to perform at school or on a sports team or on your driver’s test. And you are saved by a grace that covers every sin you have ever committed and every sin you ever will. You are known fully by the God that created you uniquely and beautifully and gave you the strengths that you naturally possess. Through Him those strengths can change the world and through Him your weaknesses can as well. And just like the women in the Bible, He can work through you. Just as He was their strength, He is yours. Just as He loved and protected them, He loves and protects you. And whether you are broken and ashamed, whether you have regrets and hurts, whether you have scars on your wrists and scars on your heart, whether you have given up hope and lost sight of His face, that does not change His love for you. He can take every ounce of that brokenness and bring beauty from it. As you take your scars and your past and your brokenness and your weaknesses to Him, He will use them to strengthen you and to strengthen those around you. Because you’re not always strong and you don’t always make the right choices and you don’t always glorify Him, but when you come to life real, raw, and open about that you can say, “This is me. I am weak and I am broken and I can’t do this on my own. But with God, I am strong. Through God, I have worth. Through God, I can be awesome. Through God, I am holy. Through God, I am redeemed. Through God, I am forgiven. Through God, I can overcome. Through God, I can move mountains. Through God, I can change the world. Because it isn’t me doing it on my own, but God in me. And the glory is His. Because He. Is. Awesome.“
That is beautiful. And it is only possible with God. So wherever you are, however you feel, whatever you’ve been told, whatever you’re facing, cling to God. Give Him all of your broken pieces. And as you are healed and built up and strengthened and made beautiful, the glory will be His and His alone. Praise be to God.