Between the liner Notes
The Virtues of Weakness
By Jason Gray
As Told to Jennifer E. Jones, CBNmusic Producer
Nashville, TN Jason Gray knows about the "lovely losers" that he writes about on his new album. This singer/songwriter has a speech impediment that causes him to stutter. Yet, the one thing that could have held him back actually propelled him into the spotlight. Read his story... in his own words.
Either I’m crazy or it’s God. It doesn’t make any sense that a guy with a speech handicap would have a career where he has to be on stage. Of course, I was insecure about it always.
When I was younger and began to be aware that God had a calling on my life, I was convinced that I had to be healed. I would tell the Lord, "[You] can’t make me a spokesperson until You make it so that I can speak." But when you tell the Lord that He can’t do something, it’s a dare that He can’t resist.
He began to put me in places where I had to speak even though I didn’t think I could do it very well. I learned early on that He uses us not in spite of our weaknesses but, more often than not, exactly because of our weaknesses.
It’s through our weakness that His strength is perfected. Yet we are a people who are so determined to be strong, and we feel so much pressure to be perfect and competent. We live in a culture that celebrates strength and achievement.
The theme of my life and of all my work and the reason I do this is celebrating the virtues of weakness.
I’m increasingly convinced that our strengths may be more troublesome than our weaknesses. We’re always tempted to rely on our strengths. We’re always bringing our strengths to God and saying, “Use this for Your Kingdom.” That’s a good thing to do, but I think He really wants us to surrender our weaknesses to Him and allow Him to use those.
As long as we’re always operating out of our strengths and our competencies, we always know what we’re gonna get. If we’re willing to work out of weaknesses, who knows what’s going to happen. That’s where the Lord has room to do that thing that only He can do. I wonder if the weak really have the advantage, because our weakness gives us access to a strength beyond ourselves.
I’m always meeting people who are afraid that, because of their imperfections and the things that they struggle with, they’re disqualified from doing anything significant in the Kingdom of God. I think the opposite is true. His grace flows through the broken places in our lives.
One of the cruelest tricks of the devil is that he tempts us and cripples us with our own fears. The devil has things that he intents to use to destroy or hinder our lives. The beautiful thing about what God offers us is when we can take those things and offer them to God. He turns it around against the devil and uses it to build His Kingdom. That is the most wonderful reversal of fortunes – our sweetest revenge – to offer up our wounds to God and allow Him to do something beautiful with them. We are called to be wounded healers like Jesus.
Growing up, we develop these skills of trying to put our best foot forward and appear put together, look good and be impressive. All of our lives we are working towards creating a facade that looks good for the rest of the world. We want everyone to think that we’re put together. That is a skill that I was never really able to hone. It was very clear every time I opened my mouth that, “Something’s wrong with Jason. Jason’s broken. He’s strange.” I think because of that I just never really developed the tools to fool people or pretend I’m anything that I’m not. That’s the fruit of this blessed thorn in my flesh. As I get older, I see my handicap as this amazing gift that God gave to me that built so many good things in my life.
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