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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
It’s an oft-quoted statement. I take issue, however. I say it this way:
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 KJV)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)
It isn’t the circumstances we go through that make us stronger. In fact, I believe it is in our nature to allow trials to destroy us, not strengthen us. Our situations are what we make of them. When we turn all over to Jesus Christ, then we are truly made strong.
The the sentiment contained in the first statement is that we, ourselves, survive, and as a result are stronger by our own actions. I respect people that come through traumas and survive. I don’t fault anyone for doing what they feel they have to do in the moment of a crisis to survive. But on the other side of trials and traumas, we have to look back and ask how much we relied on Jesus Christ. One thing is for sure:
What got you to where you are today will not get you where you need to be tomorrow.
Actions, behaviors, and habits that were developed out of the need to survive may have been useful during tragedy, but they will not get you to a place of recovery and healing. So many good people define themselves as a survivor, by what THEY did to survive, not understanding that they are holding themselves back by not embracing the change they need to find face and healing in Christ’s loving arms.
Find strength in Jesus. Be thankful for what you have come through, but continue on into Christ’s strength through His Spirit.