Most of us have probably heard the infamous quote that Uncle Ben advised Peter Parker when he discovered the teenager had supernatural powers and became Spiderman. He urged, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That insight helped Peter understand that his newfound strength and abilities should be used to help others…not to be squandered or utilized for personal gain.
God has gifted all of his children with talents and abilities that should be used to serve one another in this world. And the Bible is full of verses that teach us how to do so.
So then, what does 2 Corinthians 12:9 mean when Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness?” Paul responds to that by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Why would God give us each different gifts and talents, but then want us to be excited about our shortcomings?
Most of us look back on our high school days with fond memories and generally regard that time of our life with nostalgia. However, I want to tell you about a ninth grade girl whose life took a radical turn in one single moment. And her memories of “the good old days” are very different from ours.
At age 15, Keisha moved out of her parent’s home and started living with a friend. Any kid that would prefer to face the world without her mom and dad, must have had a hard life. One afternoon, while riding in a car with a young man she knew, they got into a heated argument. It was the final straw for Keisha. Years of pain bubbled to the surface and a dark rage boiled inside. She was done with being disrespected. When the vehicle came to a stop at the next light, Keisha took hold of a gun, put it to the boy’s temple, then pulled the trigger. That split second decision changed her life forever. While her friends had fun going to the movies, Prom and graduation, she sat alone in prison for felony murder.
While growing up my mother always made me brush my teeth and visit the dentist regularly. She even washed my mouth out with soap quite often, but that’s a whole different story. I hate going to the dentist. In fact, I could honestly say I’d rather undergo surgery than to have some man’s hands and a loud shrieking drill inside my ever-so-sensitive mouth. Unfortunately, even something as innocent as candy can be toxic to a beautiful smile. And sometimes we can tell right away how hard someone’s life has been just by his or her smile.
A few days ago I went to visit inmates in a county jail. I love sharing a message of hope and forgiveness with people who feel desperate, rejected and abandoned. Because I’ve survived a multitude of sins and traumatic situations myself, I want them to know how much God can change their lives if they surrender to Him, just like He did for me.