Freedom and Vulnerability

2 Corinthians 12:6-10

"10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."

This past weekend we celebrated Independence Day in our nation. Each July 4th we have a chance to reflect on and to celebrate the fact that we live in a country founded on the principle of liberty and quality. 

With 239 years between the Declaration of Independence and now, it's easy to forget what a risk it was to form a democratic government. It's much easier to form governments around figureheads or monarchs who simply dictate how things will work. It's much more challenging to open up the governing process to the free will of the governed. And so, a free nation accepts the risks and challengers that comes with all the difficulties of the democratic process. But what makes the difficult process worthwhile are the self-evident truths that we are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights like liberty. And so we accept the challenge in the name of something greater, namely the freedom that we celebrate on July 4th each year. 

In our scripture reading today, Paul also speaks of accepting weakness in the name of a much greater cause, namely his service to God. He accepts both physical limitations and trials for the sake of living out his calling. And so in both our forms of government and in our spiritual lives, we accept great cost for a greater cause. We only go wrong when we shy away from sacrifice on account of the difficulty involved. Paul encourages us to remember our priorities and to seek the strength that lies with getting our priorities right.