Identify Your Personal Struggles

, by Christopher D. Hudson

God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 

The Bible seems to delight in defying conventional wisdom. Case in point: the notion that weaknesses and personal struggles should be downplayed and hidden whenever possible. Better to present a tough facade than to risk vulnerability, the reasoning goes.

In contrast, the Bible suggests there is great benefit to identifying your weaknesses and coming clean about your struggles. As the apostle Paul noted in his second letter to the church in Corinth, Jesus’ power is most clearly evident where human beings are at their weakest:

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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)

By working through your weaknesses, Jesus leaves no doubt as to who’s ultimately responsible for the triumphs in your life that come in many different forms:

• Cleared hurdles
• Improved relationships
• Solved problems
• Transformed attitudes
• Renewed spirit
• Sudden strength
• Changed life

Here are four steps you can take to identify your personal struggles and clear the way for Jesus to transform your life.

1. Take a long look inside.
Examine your thoughts, attitudes, and actions by answering some tough questions. Do you have habits you try to hide from others? Do you wrestle with doubt? Do you struggle with certain temptations over and over again? Do you ever put up a brave front when you feel anything but brave?

2. Invite God’s input.
Ask God to reveal the blind spots in your life—areas where you may be unaware of your weaknesses. Let God’s Holy Spirit work through your conscience to make you aware of things that are beyond your ability to fix or change on your own.

3. Identify your enablers.
An enabler is anything that makes it easier for you to
• give in to temptation;
• indulge in a destructive behavior;
• ignore a glaring weakness in your life.

A spouse or friend who looks the other way when you overindulge is an enabler. A friend who downplays the seriousness of your troubling behavior is an enabler. A jam-packed schedule that leaves little time for spiritual reflection is an enabler. A routine that exposes you to overpowering temptations is an enabler. In order to accurately assess your personal struggles, you have to recognize your enablers.

4. Involve caring loved ones.
Don’t keep your personal struggles private. Open up to a select group—a cheering section or a support team of sorts. Make yourself accountable to trusted friends and loved ones who know you well and who have a vested interest in your spiritual wellness.

This blog post has been adapted from the special-edition magazine Walking with Jesus, which is now available wherever magazines are sold.


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