You Don’t Have To Be Amazing

by Ruth Chou Simons November 3, 2021
“But he 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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
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You’re probably familiar with the lyrics of the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace.” It’s so hopeful to think of God’s grace saving “a wretch like me.” But for years I lived as though the lyrics were actually “God, help me be so amazing that I won’t need grace!”

It was as if I secretly hoped that, if I were “amazing” enough, I could avoid being the broken, messed-up wretch I knew I really was. It wasn’t until I heard a collegiate minister’s teaching on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that I finally realized I could never be good enough. I could never jump high enough or perform well enough not to need God’s grace.

Turns out, discovering that being amazing won’t save you is actually really good news.

Up until that discovery in my life, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do the best and be the best. I struggled under the weight of expectation — both internal and external — always striving to perform well. Be amazing! Get those A’s on your report card! Be ahead of the curve! I’m guessing you’ve maybe felt the same pressure.

Whether it’s how we present ourselves on social media platforms, what we want our church community to think about us, or what we do in our everyday interactions with friends and family, a pressure to do more creeps in. Before we know it, we’ve put our hope in being amazing ourselves rather than being amazed by God’s grace that saves us from our wretchedness. As the hymn tells us, His amazing grace accomplishes the impossible: It redeems us from sin, restores us to newness of life and makes us fit for God’s holy presence forever.

How amazing is that?

But even though I know how amazing His grace is, even now I still fight the temptation to be my own savior! When the pressure to perform is overwhelming, we have two options: We can either strive to make things happen on our own, or we can look to God’s strength in our weakness.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that we can actually boast in our weakness because of the grace of God: “But [God] 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” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God writes stories in such a way that His purposes and His ways can be on display. That’s why our weakness — and our inability to be our own amazing savior — can be God’s opportunity to show Himself strong.

Think about Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, or the death and resurrection of the Savior. It’s always been about God’s story of divine power, extravagant love and merciful rescue — never about the abilities of an individual person.

Friend, the truth is, the pressure to perform and the weaknesses we feel are meant to draw us to His unchanging character, His unchanging power and His unchanging strength! We don’t need to be our own hero; Jesus is more than enough. Let the good news that we can’t bring freedom sink in as we trust the One who can, instead of continuing to strive in our own power.

It is in the very moment we cry “I can’t!” that God meets us. We’re in the exact place we need to be to experience that He is able. It is there that we find an end to our strivings.

Lay down your strivings, friend. His grace is sufficient and more than enough for your every need.

Lord, thank You for Paul’s reminder that nothing — no weakness and no pressure — is too hard for You. Still my striving and help me replace it with wonder at Your power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


To explore the idea of performance and unpack how grace changes everything, pick up a copy of Ruth Chou Simons’ newest book, When Strivings Cease.

To learn more about the book, watch the official trailer on Ruth’s YouTube channel.


Learn more about Ruth’s ministry and role as the founder of GraceLaced at

Enter to WIN your very own copy of When Strivings Cease by Ruth Chou Simons. To celebrate this book, Ruth’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, November 8, 2021.}


Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

In what areas of your life are you battling the pressure to perform? What’s one way you can “boast in your weakness” today?

© 2021 by Ruth Chou Simons. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Nelson Books and Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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