God's word in today's world

Achilles heel

 Philippians 3:4-11

I’m writing this while we’re on holiday in the peaceful Knysna forest. It is early morning, 1 January, and the camp is quiet. Everybody is resting after the celebrations of the previous evening. It rained last night and there is a fresh smell all around. I’m excited to start the new year and I wonder what challenges it will bring.

But something is bothering me. Both my Achilles heels ache terribly. It’s from all the playing in the waves and running after the Waboba ball that I now ache in places I didn’t even know I have places. It’s really painful, these Achilles heels. I’m walking around like an old man whose joints no longer hinge, shuffling from place to place.

This reminds me of the proverb that everybody has an Achilles heel from time to time. No, not the muscle at the back of your heel. I’m referring to the proverb that says each of us has a weak place in our armour. We are children of God, but there’s always something that trips us up and prevents us from living fully for Him. Some trip over pornography, some over poor time management, others over money or alcohol. Somewhere all of us have an Achilles heel that trips us up and breaks our speed in our relationship with God.

I also have a few Achilles heels in my spiritual life. When I become aware of a weak spot in my armour, I work hard to change it. Sometimes I ask fellow believers to help me wipe that weak spot from my life, but often, before I know it, I fall down. It’s as if the enemy concentrates on that one thing in my life to mock and challenge me, to tempt me, to hammer on that one thing to trip me up round the next corner.


Where will we find the answer then?

It was quite simple for Paul, because he personally experienced this too.

8… Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life … 10I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally …

When you meet Jesus, when He becomes part of your life, everything changes. You not only see things differently, you also think differently, do differently, live differently. Things that really, really got you down in the past are no longer an issue. Slowly but steadily the weak spots in your life are being wiped away. That is what Jesus does in your life.

The only medicine for my Achilles heel that is so painful I can’t walk, is time. With every step I take I can feel there will be no quick cure. It will take time and I need to stretch and rest it.

The Achilles heel in our spiritual life will also not simply disappear. No, it’s a process that takes time. But because our road crossed that of Jesus we can start to stretch. We can practice to get rid of the weak places in our lives.

Let’s take hands and give Jesus a chance to work in our lives. Let’s put some energy into it, so that our Achilles heels don’t slow us down. May we go forward into the world at full speed to make a difference wherever we go!


What is your Achilles heel?

How can you get rid of it?

Is Jesus a force in your life?


Oh, Lord, I’ve talked about my Achilles heel so many times. I trip and fall so often. I realize I will never make it on my own. I need you, Jesus! Amen

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