The Church with the Crooked Steeple

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 (NIV)

7b  Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

8     Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

9     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.

10   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.

“Thorn” is the translation of the Greek word “skolops”

  • Literally, a “tent peg”
    • Essentially, a “skolops” is a handicap that you cannot get rid of
    • Everyone has a skolops

One of the most challenging issues we will ever face is “What will I do with my skolops?”

  • What do I do when I can’t do anything about it?

Luke 23:39-43 (NIV)

39   One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40   But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 

41   We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42   Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43   Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Essential reactions to our skolops:

  1. Rebellion

Leads to bitterness

2. Resignation

Leads to bottled-ness

3. Acceptance

Leads to better-ness

God is always looking for someone weak enough to be Divinely used

The art of a beautiful repair:  kintsugi

  • The repair restores the bowl’s function
  • The repair makes the bowl stronger
  • The repair makes the bowl more beautiful
  • The kintsugi bowl is a treasure

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