Thorns

Thorns

Nothing can destroy a Godly person like loss of humility!

I know of a man of God who would display the word ‘HUMILITY’ prominently in his personal workspace for he well knew that if humility went out the window, then so also would God’s presence and power depart along with it.

God feels so strongly about the character faults of conceit and pride that he stuck a dirty great THORN in some part of the Apostle Paul’s anatomy to prevent them from gaining ground. It is not possible to know what Paul’s ‘Thorn in the flesh’ was. Speculation has it as anywhere between sexual deviation to epilepsy to chronic eyesight and everything in between.  It’s possible that some (most?) of us have one type or another of thorn stuck in us by God as a vaccination against conceit.   (You’re probably thinking of it now as I am.)

Unless we harden our heart, that thorn, which we hate because of the disability or shame it brings, is very effective in promoting a humble character.   It goes to show just how much God cannot stand conceit and pride in that he would rather we had the thorn of illness or sinfulness instead.

Paul apparently had no doubt at all why his thorn was there…

2Co 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

2Co 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

2Co 12:9 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.

 

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