Christ Will Not Paint on a Proud Canvas

The wildly unearthly words that roar out of 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 are these — first from Jesus, then from Paul:

[Jesus] 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)

A few weeks ago, Jason Meyer, Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church, preached from this text a message titled, “When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong.” That Sunday morning I was in my usual spot with my wife listening.

“Why should I admit my moral malignancy and helplessness and hopelessness? Because Christ will not paint on a proud canvas.”

That sentence sowed the seed. I prayed, O Lord, don’t let me lose this. Don’t let me feel this only for a moment. Don’t let this seed be snatched away, or burned, or choked.

The answer to that prayer came for me in the form of what I call “poetic effort” — the effort to say this truth another way — forcing the river of emotion to flow between the narrow vertical cliffs of rhyme and meter, making the river run deep between the walls of form — “Christ will not paint on a proud canvas.” Whatever others may feel, the poem is for me — to help me feel and live this holy, hard, and happy truth: “Christ will not paint on a proud canvas.” I hope it can be useful to awaken in others what Jason so earnestly and effectively preached — to me.

Written by John Piper
Full story at Desiring God

2 thoughts on “Christ Will Not Paint on a Proud Canvas

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