“I’ve found that once we own and name our vices, we can unearth the role that they play in pointing us to our Redeemer and refining us. . . . We can learn slowly over time how to best grow as we glean wisdom from what would otherwise paralyze us.”- Meredith McDaniel
In Chapter 8 of In Want + Plenty, Meredith McDaniel underscores that it’s not a weakness to name what we need. Rather, it represents a colossal step in the direction of wholeness. Therefore, Meredith states, it’s healthy to desire growth in specific areas of your life. But, the author counsels, it’s essential to notice the toxic scripts playing out in your life. Because, over time, they tend to get loud and drag you down.
Consequently, Meredith exhorts, stare at that thorn – defined as whatever makes you tick and hinders your heart. Then, tell that thorn it doesn’t hold all the power. Yet, that thorn can play a role in your life for a season. Above all, Meredith stresses, consider the language you use with yourself. It matters! For each word forms the script that shapes your narrative. And, Meredith believes:
“God uses even the darkest parts of our stories to bring us closer to him. I don’t think he wants us to experience life painfully. I do however believe wholeheartedly that he wants to use every thorn for his glory.”
However, we take great pains so that our thorns don’t show. As a result, we prefer to tuck them all away. Even if, like the sharp spines on a cactus, they painfully try to poke through. In addition, all that anxiety deeply impacts our physical and mental well-being. It contributes to high blood pressure as well as heart disease. Hence, it’s impossible to internalize our feelings forever. Anxiety invariably rises to the surface.
In conclusion, Meredith offers this final message about thorns: “The thorns give voice to what would otherwise remain silent, and because of that I can boldly claim that even our thorns are forms of manna in our lives. God uses it all.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures help us to own and name our vices? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The aerial view – only God has it”