Jimmy Evans - The Grace Solution
This series is called The Gift of Grace. This is my favorite subject to preach on. If you don't want to be encouraged for the next four weeks, you better stay away from church, because this is the most encouraging message I've ever preached, series I've ever preached in my life. I grew up without knowing anything about grace. I grew up under total performance, condemnation. When I became a Christian, I lived in total condemnation, performance. And I'll tell you some of my stories of just how I learned about the grace of God. But today at 65 years old. God is my daddy. He's my loving daddy and He's full of grace. And I live every moment of every day in the grace of God. And I will never go back.
And I know some of you, depending on your background, you know from the family that you came from or whatever, you might be in performance, in condemnation. You may not understand God the way that you could and should. And this is what this series is about. I want you to understand, I want you to have a right concept of who God is and I want you to understand how to walk in His grace. So this message today is called "The Grace Solution". We're going to talk about our weaknesses because we all have weaknesses. And the grace solution-grace is the solution for my issues. Grace is the solution for my problems. Not Performance, not pretense, none of that, but it's grace. We're going to talk about the Apostle Paul.
Now Paul is being criticized by the church in Corinth. That's the context, now, that he's saying these comments. He's going to be talking about himself here and he's talking about God's grace. But there are other apostles trying to take over the church in Corinth that he started and he's the apostle of. And they're coming in and they're criticizing him. And even the church at Corinth is saying some very hurtful things about the Apostle Paul. And so in 2 Corinthians 10, 11,and 12 he's talking about his apostleship, somewhat defending his apostleship. But actually what he's doing here in 2 Corinthians 12 is he's agreeing with them. And rather than trying to defend himself and cover up his issues and his weaknesses, he's basically just coming out and saying, Yeah, I've got issues and the answer is God's grace, not performing, and so he's going to talk beginning here. He's talking about someone who went to heaven 14 years ago. He's talking about himself.
2 Corinthians 12:1, "It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. The Thorn in the Flesh And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong".
So the Apostle Paul is experiencing something that we all fear and he's, he is been criticized for his weaknesses. In fact, in 2 Corinthians 10:10 he tells them, he's telling the church in his letter what they're saying about him that he has heard about, and here's what they're saying. In 2 Corinthians 10:10 they're saying of Paul, his letters are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak. And his speech contemptible. Now this is hurtful. And so you're the apostle of the Corinthians and other apostles were coming in and they're trying to take over your, your church that you fathered and that you love. And many of them were doing it for money and for power. Paul was doing it out of a pure motive. And so they're coming in and they're criticizing him. And now the Corinthian church is saying, "you know, you really do write good letters. You should send more letters, but you really shouldn't show up as often, 'cause you're not good looking and you're a bad talker".
That's hurtful. I mean, that's hurtful any way you look at it. Let me say this, the fear of man is a control issue that the devil uses to control our lives. And the Apostle Paul, what do you do? What do you do? You're being publicly exposed for your weaknesses, your appearance, your speech. Paul evidently was not a great speaker, but he was the most brilliant person in New Testament history except for Jesus Christ. And so, how would you like for the Apostle Paul to be your apostle? And here he was their apostle and he's coming under attack. And understand, all of us if we are going to live for God, we have to deal with this issue of: are we going to live in the fear of man, and are we going to live in performance out of the fear that we're going to be exposed and be rejected?
Love is our number one need and because of that, rejection is our number one fear. When you're ministering to people in counseling, the number one scar in everyone's life is rejection: rejection by friends, rejection by family, rejection by a lover or a spouse or something like that. Because love is our number one need, rejection is our number one fear. And this is Satan's hook. This is how he controls us. And especially in the vicious world that we're living in now. There has never been a world. And you take the vicious world that we're living in now and give them social media. And there are people killing themselves. There are people depressed and upset because they live in the fear of what people are going to say about them on social media or something like that.
There are two purposes of this message. The first is to help us admit and embrace our inherent human weaknesses and not to be ashamed of them. We're all weak. We're weaker than we would want to admit. And the second is how to understand how to deal with our weaknesses so that they don't become an opportunity for the enemy. To be able to admit that we're weak, like the Apostle Paul did. He just came out and said, "I agree. I understand, but I'm not going to perform for you. I'm not going to try to pretend to be something more than you see or hear". That's what he was saying. So how do you get to the place where you can admit and embrace your human weaknesses and all of that? Well I want to talk about four basic types of weakness.
There are four ways that we're all weak to some degree. The first is an inability. All of us have inabilities in our lives. I mean, it's just something either you haven't learned yet. It could be marriage, leadership, finance, cooking, whatever like that. There's something that you could do but you just haven't learned it yet, or it's just something you just don't do very well. Now in our home... this is kind of a silly example, but in our home I have a hard time finding things around the house. And I can be looking at it and I don't see it. And Karen can find anything. She's just unbelievable. I'm thankful that I'm married to someone who can find stuff.
I was at the refrigerator one day, and I was looking for some Tabasco sauce and I couldn't find it. And I was looking in the door of the refrigerator, and I'm sitting here, and I looked, and I looked, and I looked, and I looked. And when you're married 46 years you just look longer because you know what's about to happen. And so finally I couldn't find it. And I said to Karen, I said, "Karen, we don't have any Tabasco sauce". She said, "Jimmy, it's in the door there". I said, "It's not in the door, Karen". And so she's over here and she gets up out of her chair. This is what she does. I'm at the refrigerator. She walks over and does this... Reaches in almost without looking, hands it to me. I said, "That's witchcraft and I'm telling Jesus. That was not there. You made it". So there are just some things that we're not good at and that's okay. We're all, there's all things that we can't do.
Another type of weakness is an iniquity and an iniquity in the Bible in the Hebrew, in Deuteronomy 5:9, God says, "I will visit the iniquities of the fathers", it means mothers and fathers, "upon the children and the children's children to the third generation". The word iniquity means bent. It means a tendency toward a sin because of the family that I came out of and because of my parents. And so all of us know that even though you may not have agreed with something your parents did, you have that bent because you're video and audio recorders were on the entire time that you were being raised. You have a natural tendency to respond and to act toward people and situations the way that your parents did. Sexual sin, anger, legalism, judging, unbelief, fear, negativity, unforgiveness, bitterness.
In my case, it was sexism and chauvinism. I was raised around sexism and chauvinists. I mean, men were just better than women in my family. And you know, it was just, that's just the way that it was. And most of the men in my family, they ruled the roost and the women were very subservient. And my father, my grandfather was an example of this. He never did anything for himself. My grandmother waited on him hand and foot. And I watched that as a little boy growing up. And I just thought two things. (1) That of the Lord, and, (B) I want one of those. And Karen, Karen didn't train well that was the problem. And I just, so. But most of us have tendencies toward negative behaviors because of the training of our parents. And here's how to deal with an iniquity.
First of all, admit it. And take responsibility for it. Regardless of how you got it, it's your sin now. It's your issue now. So you say, "I'm a chauvinist". I was a chauvinist. I mean I was, and I just had to begin by saying, "I'm a chauvinist. I'm sexist".
The second thing, you forgive your parents. They probably were trained in the same manner. They probably, if you can tell me about your parents, I can probably tell you about your grandparents. That's way that it is. So we need to give our parents grace.
The third thing that we do is we break it in the name of Jesus and say, "I break this". Listen, when you break an iniquity off your life, you're breaking it off your children and grandchildren's lives. And what Karen and I said is "we're the end of all iniquities. All iniquities in the Evans and Smith families, they end right here and we're not going to pass them on to our children and grandchildren". So we break this inequity in the name of Jesus and we declare this bent is going to become this.
And the fourth thing you do is surrender it to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The way that people get bent in the first place is disobedience and rebellion. And so all of us, when we have iniquities, it's very simple, but it's very profound. We can identify it, we can forgive our parents, we can break it and submit it to Jesus. And that area of a bent, now it's like this and our whole family has changed.
A third area of weakness is infirmity. Now it might be a temporary sickness or it might be something permanent, like in the case of the Apostle Paul. He says, "because of the surpassing revelations that was given to me, a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan was given to me to keep me from exalting myself beyond measure". Well, we don't know exactly what the Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh was, but we have an idea because in Galatians 4, the Apostle Paul said, "I was with you because I was sick and if possible, I believe you would have plucked out your eyes and have given them to me". So we think that the Apostle Paul had a chronic eye problem. That could have been his physical problem that he was talking about. But in some cases we have an infirmity, something that you know we're just physically not able to do, or a condition that we have. Sometimes God will heal it. In some cases we have this condition, but it's a weakness.
The fourth is an inherent weakness, and this is something that God builds into us. And these are some of the hardest things to accept. But let me give you an example of some inherent weaknesses. God came to Moses and God called Moses to deliver Israel. And when God called Moses to deliver Israel, here's what Moses said. "I can't talk. I'm not a good speaker Lord. I cannot go and deliver the children of Israel". The Apostle Paul wasn't good speaker. Don't you think if you're going to design someone who's going to deliver Israel, you probably ought to give them the ability to speak?? Don't you think if you're going to have the preeminent apostle in the New Testament that you probably ought to give him the ability to speak, God actually takes away... Here's what God said to Moses. Moses said to God, "I can't do this because I can't speak", and here's what God said. "Who made your mouth? You think I made a mistake? You think I slipped up"?
Listen to me. Why wouldn't God give Moses the ability to speak? Because God didn't want a slick talker to get the responsibility for delivering the Jews out of Egypt. God wanted to do it by signs and wonders. And when Moses went into Egypt, God divinely disabled him, so he had to depend on the power of God. And by the way, the Apostle Paul says, "I was not with you with persuasive words of wisdom. I was with you in demonstration of the Spirit of God and of power". Sometimes God disables an area of your life so that you have to depend on Him. Let me say this, I mean, listen to what I'm saying. Your weaknesses have greater potential to glorify God than your strengths, because in the areas that we're strong, we have a tendency to just depend on ourselves. But in the areas where we are weak, we have to depend upon God.
So there's an area, and we get frustrated. There's an area that God just comes up and he just turns it off, and we say "Why would you disable me? Why would you disable me in that area Lord? Don't you know that I need that"? And the Lord said, "no, you need Me". Let me tell you my magic wand theory, okay. So let's just say that we passed out magic wands. And I said, okay, here's what I want you to do. I want you to take a magic wand. Everything that you don't like about yourself... we all have magic wands. We're going to wave a magic wand over ourselves and you can fix anything about yourself that you don't like physically, financially, maybe your spouse. Nah, you wouldn't do that. You can wave your magic wand and fix anything you want to fix.
Here's my magic wand theory. Once you waved your magic wand over yourself, you would never need God again, because everything you would change is why you need Him. God makes us weak in some areas because God wants us to need Him. We're sheep, we need Him. We have weaknesses, and there's nothing wrong with that. See, there's a big difference between the way people look at weakness and the way God looks at weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 10:10 they say of him: "his letters are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible". God concerning the same issues says this, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness".
Can I say something to you? God is in no way turned off by your weaknesses. God is attracted to it. God loves it. Your weaknesses and God's strength are a perfect match. But the devil wants us to believe that God is repulsed, and God's standing up in heaven saying, "Can't you be stronger? Can't you be a better person? Can't you perform better? Can't you do this"? The answer's "no, I can't. That's why I need the grace of God. I'm not going to perform". And people, people who don't understand grace constantly want you to perform. You can't give away what you don't have. And if you don't live by grace, then you're always wanting people to perform because you're having to. And when they don't, you're as cruel with them as they are with you. And that's the world we live in right now. But that's not the way God is. When God looks at your weaknesses, he's just simply saying, "would you let Me into your weaknesses? Will you let Me be the strength to that weakness"? But it can't happen until we accept it.
Let me talk about four ways that we deal with weakness real quick. So those are four different kinds of weaknesses. Here are four ways that people deal with weakness. The first is defeated weakness. Just give up. Jesus came to a man at the pool of Bethesda that had been there for 38 years. And here's what Jesus said to a sick man, "you want to get well"? Well that seems like an obvious answer. "Yes I do". But the man was laying next to the pool of Bethesda, and regularly an angel would stir the waters. And if you stepped in, you got healed. Seems like in 38 years you could make it to the water. The man was defeated in his spirit. It wasn't just his body that was sick. He was defeated. And Jesus walked up...
When I into the ministry... I see Tom Lane down here. Tom and Jan right down here. When I came in the ministry at Trinity in Amarillo, I came into the ministry as a marriage and pre-marriage counselor when I was 28. And 10 months later the pastor left and went to Florida to take a church, and I became senior pastor of a thousand member church when I was 29. And um, it was overwhelming. It was, it was, it was, I mean, I knew that the Lord had call me into the ministry, and called me to preach, but at 29 years old-I had been in business the year before. I had been in the ministry less than a year, and I'd never been senior pastor, never preached regularly, never done a wedding or funeral, didn't pay attention at weddings and funerals. I just was unprepared. I didn't, I had never been to seminary or Bible school. I was just unprepared. Thousand member church.
So first two years goes by. It was terrifying. I mean, wore me out, completely worn me out. And the church did well. The church was growing, but I didn't do well. And after a couple of years I was defeated. I was just, I was just defeated, and I just thought, "I can't do this. I don't have the ability to do this. I don't have the credentials to do this. I was never trained to do this". And fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of failure, I was consumed by it. And just constantly performed to try to get to the next week and get to the next week.
So finally, one day I woke up and I thought, I'm going to quit. And it really comforted me. It was of great comfort to me to think about quitting. And I told Karen, one night we sat down and I said, I'm going to quit the church. I'm going to go back into business and figure out what to do, Karen. I'm worn out. I can't do this anymore. Well, Karen didn't like that and she argued with me for several minutes or several hours about it that night. And finally we went to bed and I hadn't changed my mind. I was going to quit. So the next morning she woke up and called Tom. And Tom-my best friend, he's also executive senior pastor with me. And so he came over to the house the next morning, came back to the back room of the house. We were sitting face to face talking for an hour or two. And I was frustrated by the conversation because they were trying to talk me into staying, but I was the one getting chewed up in all of it.
And so after a couple of hours of Tom trying to talk me out of it, I looked at Tom. Tom's the nicest person on earth if you don't know. And I looked at Tom and I said, "be quiet. Don't say one more word. I don't want hear another word". And I pointed my finger at him and said, "Not another word". And he had this real frustrated look on his face. Well the phone rang it. At that exact instant, the phone rang and I picked it up and it was a woman. I picked it up and I, just to get away from that conversation I answered the phone. And I said "hello", and she said, "Pastor Jimmy, this is so and so". She was the reason I was quitting. This woman and her husband and a few other people had made my life miserable. This woman was one of the main reasons, and I'm thinking this is the greatest confirmation in the history of the world... that a person is making... And I'm looking at Tom thinking, I cannot wait to get off of this telephone and to tell you who's calling right now to prove that you and Karen are wrong and I'm right.
And she said, "oh, Pastor Jimmy, this is so and so". I'm looking at Tom thinking, "Oh, this is beautiful, this is so beautiful". And she says, "oh, Pastor Jimmy, this is so and so. Oh, I was walking through the living room just now, and I was carrying a basket of laundry. And the Lord said, you drop that basket and you call Pastor Jimmy right now". And I was thinking, "Yes, He did. Yes, He did, sister". She said, "so I picked up the phone, I dialed your number. And I didn't know what I was gonna say. I didn't know what I was going to say. And I, the I, you answered and I heard your voice. And the Lord said, you tell him this: You are not to quit. The Lord put you in as senior pastor and you're supposed to stay".
Well, changed my plan. I just started sobbing and she thought she had hurt my feelings. And she said, "oh, I shouldn't have called. Nevermind. Nevermind. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, like that". Well I could respond, I was sobbing. Well, all Tom saw was me answer the phone and start sobbing. So I mean, I was just... So finally I got control and, I told her thank you for the call. This is, this is the Lord. And then Karen came in the room. I told them what happened, you know, and they were real happy about it, but I wasn't happy. And the next morning I woke up... I said, "Lord, I can't do this. I don't qualify. I've never been trained". And the Lord said, "My grace qualifies you, son. And I never asked you to do it. I just called you to let Me do it through you. Now you stop performing for people and you start obeying Me".
And that was the day that I stopped focusing on what people thought about me and the fear of man and I started living to please God. If your weaknesses are turned toward people, you're going to get defeated. His grace is sufficient for you, for His power is made perfect in weakness. I was an untrained man, and the things that I was weakest in at 29 years old, I am known for today, because the Lord Jesus trained me, not because I qualified and not because I was good enough, because of His grace. You don't qualify. None of us qualify. Our adequacy comes from Jesus, not from ourselves. Grace is about God. Performance is about us. Grace is just all about Jesus.
The second way that people deal with weakness is deceptive weakness, pretending. This is why Jesus hated... Covering up my weakness and pretending like it doesn't exist... the Pharisees, Jesus hated the spirit of the Pharisees. He called them whitewashed tombs, and said, You walk around, you know, like your something, but you're like a whitewash tomb full of dead bones but you look like something else And so God works in the light. God, in Genesis 1, the first act of creation, God said, let there be light. God never works in the darkness. He always works in the light. But the devil works in darkness and he wants you to be ashamed. Everywhere the devil is working he puts shame and fear because shame and fear causes us to hide. And the devil wants you to hide from God and from other people and to pretend to be something you're not. But God can't help us when we're pretending.
Karen and I got saved when we were 19 years old, and we started going to a Sunday school class and I really did not like going to Sunday school class because I had, I was messed up and even though I was saved. And I just didn't want people to know how messed up I was. And in church, you can kind of, you know, hide, but you getting smaller groups and people find out how messed up you are. So my job in Sunday school class was to keep my mouth shut and act like I knew what I was doing, but I didn't. And so there was a prayer time in this Sunday school class every week. And at the end of the Sunday school class they'd say, Anybody have a prayer request? And so people say this and that.
And so Karen raised her hand and I looked over at her and she said, yeah. Would y'all pray for us? We only have $170 in the bank and we're, we're just, we're afraid we won't be able to pay our bills. We're broke. I just thought, oh, it's like taking a three-year-old to the grocery store. They'll say anything, you know, I just, Oh my goodness, I just, we got in the car and I said, Karen, you, you don't say that. She said, well it's the truth. I said, well, there are a lot of things true you don't say in church! I want people to think we have money. And then about a year later we were having a big fight, and I was being bad. And so we had this big fight in the morning before I left for work and I came home ready for round two. I was not softened at all, I just read it for round two. So I walk in the door and Karen says, I called our Sunday school teachers. We're going to eat dinner with them tonight. I told them all about that fight this morning and what you said to me. I could be such a good fake without her.
So we go to dinner that night. For two hours, the entire conversation centers on moi. They never even looked at Karen. They never said a word to her. For two hours... Very sweet people, very sweet people. For two hours the man very kindly said to me that he used to be a jerk like me once. Oh, he said it in the nicest way he possibly could. I'm so thankful that I married an honest woman that wouldn't pretend. James 5 says, pray for one another and confess your faults to one another that you may be healed. Did you know that there's some things that God won't heal in your life until you tell somebody? Don't tell everyone your problems, but tell someone your problems. And don't try to cover it up. Because when we try to cover things up, that's the darkness. That's where the devil works.
Number three type of weakness is defiant weakness. Rather than accepting something in my life as a weakness or something I'm doing below the mark, I declare it acceptable and refuse God's or anyone else's position to the contrary. And this is the Cane spirit. Cane rose up... You remember there was an offering that was given and Abel brought the best offering that he could bring and God regarded it. God honored it when he brought it and blessed him. Cane brought an offering. He just brought some vegetation that he had grown. And so he brought it to the Lord and the Lord just turned away. He wouldn't, wouldn't regard it. And rather than Cane being humble and repentant to the Lord, Cane got angry. And the Lord turned to him and said, If you do well, you'll be happy. But if you don't do well, sin is crouching at your door and its desire is for you. But you must master it. Cane's response? He killed Abel. You're not going to tell me what to do. It's the Cane spirit.
Let me read you... Humanism is kind of the unofficial religion of our day. This is the American Humanist Association. Their subtitle is "Good without a god". They're defiiant. The world that we live in today is defiant against God. They have 15 humanist affirmations. Let me read you three of them. This is humanism. If you wonder in the world today how people are thinking when they want to legalize abortion till birth or even after birth and you just see the crazy things that are happening in the world. This is where it comes from. This is the fifth humanist affirmation. This is the American Humanist Association website. Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method. In other words, if we can't prove it in a test tube, it's not real.
Sixth affirmation. We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism and the several varieties of new thought. Theism means believing in God based on his word, based on revelation. Deism means believing in God based on observation and nature. They said, time has passed for that. No more of that. This is the seventh affirmation. Religion consists of those actions, purposes and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation, all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained. What secular humanists are saying here is there is no difference between an abortion clinic and a maternity ward. The sacred and the secular are one. They're redefining religion to say it's anything... We do not believe in the existence of God. One of their other affirmations is the universe is self-existent and was not created. What they're doing is they're cleansing the world.
Did you know that that's the fulfillment of Psalm 2? Why do the nations rage and the people devise a vain thing? And they say to the Lord and His Anointed, God the Father, and God the Son, we're going to tear your cords apart. You're not going to put us in fetters. We're not going to serve you any longer. And it says he who sits in heaven laughs. This is the world we're living in right now in revolt against God. You will not-the Cane spirit-you will not tell us what to do. It says he who sits in heaven laughs. It's like watching a bunch of two year olds plotting to overthrow their parents and take over the house. God sits up in heaven saying, you really think that you're not gonna serve me? And here's the most interesting verse in Psalm 2. Kiss the Son. Capital S. That's the tribulation. You better kiss the Son. You're not going to overthrow God, but the world that we live in today is a defiant world.
Here's the fourth way that people deal with weakness. It's divine weakness. Accepting the fact that there are weaknesses in my life and some of them are there by God's design. Also choosing to turn my weakness to God and not to be ashamed of them, but rather to allow them to be a means of deepening my dependence upon God and allowing Him to glorify Himself through me. And what happens when you turn your weakness to God? Because He loves you and He knows your weak. And some of the weaknesses He's going to change, some of them-He's going to leave there so you'll depend on Him.
What happens when we turn our weaknesses to God is the breaking of a spirit of the fear of man and rejection, the breaking of his spirit of self-hate and shame. Because the devil wants us to take our weaknesses and hate ourselves. The breaking of a spirit of performance, the breaking of a spirit of condemnation, and confidence in relating to God and receiving in Him. The two purposes of this message is to, first of all, help us to admit and embrace our inherent weaknesses and also to help us deal with them properly so they don't become an opportunity for the enemy. I'm a weak man. I'm a very weak man. Pastor Jack Hayford is one of my favorite men, and he says this. He says, Regularly, when I'm praying, I say the Lord, I'm just a little child. There's never been a day in my life of ministry that I've ever felt like I qualified. Not One day. There has never been one thing that God ever called me to do that I felt adequate for. Never, never, not this message, not any other message.
I know I'm weak, but here's what I also know: that my God is awesome. He is faithful to all generations. The Apostle Paul says, I'm not ashamed of my weaknesses. I'm going to rejoice in my weaknesses and my infirmities. For when I'm weak, then I'm strong. Whenever I allow God to come into my weaknesses, that's when I'm whole. And if someone wants to reject me, if someone wants to reject me for what they see in me or don't see in me, I'm not going to let that control my life, because people are simply going to criticize me. It's just going to happen. I'm not going to perform for approval. I'm going to obey and walk in the grace of God.