On Strength and Character

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As I was writing Confessions of an Introvert, a question kept popping up in my head:

Am I a weak person?

I had texted that to my best friend, who is currently in South Carolina. I had a pretty good idea of what his answer would be before he replied. The answer of course is no, I am not a weak person. In fact, it turns out, I am quite strong.

 

And yet, I don’t feel strong. I struggle with depression, low self esteem, poor self image, etc. I don’t feel confident, and I certainly don’t feel strong. Someone else told me I am mistaking low self-esteem for weakness. These, in fact, are not the same thing. I really had to think about that. If self-esteem and strength/weakness are not the same thing, then what makes one strong? When my friend told me I am strong, I asked how? How am I strong?

“You’re driven to learn and have unshakeable faith. Also, the kilt.”

It turns out that it is strength of character. Not surprisingly, Romans 5:3-5 explains this best.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

This passage is only on a few pages of this blog and my favorite verse in the Bible. The answer was smacking me in the face. Strength and hope come from character, character comes from endurance, endurance comes from surviving tough situations and being on the verge of hopelessness. And as the passage goes on to tell us that “hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

True strength does not come from our own hands, but from God. That is a hard truth for some. It can be a hard truth for me at times. Often times we want to make it through life by the capabilities of our own two hands.

So I ask this question again: Am I a weak person?

Definitely not.

If you were to look through posts prior to this, you will see that I have had my battles. I have had my struggles. I have had my challenges. I look at everything I have and am going through and you can see that strength that carries me through it all. What causes to think myself weak is my low self-esteem, which can cause a lack of confidence. Only time can reverse that. Yet that is not a sign of weakness. Sure I struggle with self-worth. Sure I struggle with depression. But these things do not make me weak. Struggling with self worth, depression, anxiety, etc does not make you weak. It simply means you are human. All of humanity is broken. With my personal struggles, it causes me to ask questions. It causes for me to look for change. In turn, it has only caused me to seek God.

we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


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