Setback or Setup

I'm just finishing up a book my sister-in-law wanted me to read called "Grace Based Parenting," by Tim Kimmel. I may do a more thorough review of the book in the future, but wanted to capture a concept he surfaces in the book that I know has been huge in my life. 

Kimmel references 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, which talks about Paul's "thorn in the flesh," which was given to Paul as a constant reminder that we need to find our sufficiency in God's grace and power. Kimmel says this: "Often God puts these very things in [a child's] life as touch points for His grace... Your love and understanding can be the very things that help your children turn these setbacks into setups."

I love this concept, and think it's much bigger than just parent to child. One of the most life-giving things you can do for another person is to speak Truth into their life that says "God created you just as you are, and can use this setback as a setup for something extraordinary." 

When I was young, I matured physically much later than most of my peers. As a result, I lost some confidence because I wasn't able to excel in some of the areas my friends did. I loved playing baseball, but was only ever "average," because of my size and lack of confidence that went along with that. It was a setback. 

One year, I played baseball under a coach who helped me learn a valuable lesson. I wasn't ever going to be the fastest, strongest, or most talented kid on the team. But I could beat them in effort and in smarts. I could think harder than any other person on the team, and work harder than anyone else on the team, and beat many of the kids who were able to rely solely on talent. 

Though I didn't make a career out of baseball, that coach helped turn a setback into a setup in an area that serves me to this day. I don't have the most raw talent when it comes to preaching or leading. Many of my peers are much more talented than I. But through the influence of a baseball coach (and my parents as well) the "setback" of not being the most talented has actually become a "setup" for me.

Are you the kind of person who helps people see their setbacks as setups? When you look at your own life, which of the two do you see? 


Mark Hancock said...

Very cool, Chris.

I just completed a year at an international ministry as Director of Ministry Operations, after 4 years of international conference coordination with the same ministry.

I was aching to go to the same place a few days a week to see what kind of impact I could have in one place, rather than for a few weeks at a time in other nations.

A young man there was ripe for mentoring and encouragement, and seeing him respond to what God did in his life in response to the direction and encouragement was the greatest blessing of the year!

I like your comments on setback>setup in processing what worked in my relationship with this young man.


Kara said...

Enjoyed this book too! Trying to find ways to do that in our boys' lives. I definitely remember my parents showing me a few "setups". I pray I do the same for my kiddos!

also, since you opened the door on parenting's another good one. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.

Chris Freeland said...

Funny you should mention "Shepherding Your Child's Heart." It was the other one my sister-in-law wanted me to read. I started it today at lunch, so I'll let you know.

Can't wait to hear from Cory.