It was going to be a tough conversation, but it had to happen. I was watching a church leader spin out of control, but I had a hunch he was not going to appreciate my intervention. I grabbed from my jewelry case a pendant I’d bought at a Women of Faith conference a year earlier. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) was engraved on the back of a black lacquer circle which I hung from my neck and clung to through the conversation that happened a few hours later.
Philippians 4:13 inspires me and emboldens me. It’s short and memorizable. It centers me in Christ’s power rather than my own feeble capacity. It is Christ’s strength–not my own–that can carry me through any and every tough situation.
Nevertheless, as I am reminded regularly by well meaning exegetes on social media, I stand in judgment by others putting it to such use. “I can do all things through a verse taken out of context,” read the memes again and again. [Read more…]