The Squeeze: Saving Face


When you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, what comes out of it? When you squeeze an orange, what comes out of it? How about when you crack an egg or press down a bottle of perfume? The best of what’s in there comes out: toothpaste, juice, the egg, fragrance.

In many things, the part you want to get to can only be gotten to by applying pressure, turning up the heat; that’s when you see what’s really inside.

That’s why it says in Romans 5:3-4 that "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

So let me ask you, what’s coming out of you when you get squeezed?

I did a retreat in Chicago years ago with women in a Korean church and we were talking about brokenness. I was making a point of how God brings wholeness through brokenness and to illustrate my point, I took a glass vase, a very small, thin glass vase, and I threw it on the concrete floor. It didn’t break. I thought, “Hmmmm…that’s never happened before.” I picked it up and threw it again….and then again…and then I picked up the still intact vase and just slammed it against the concrete wall.

I went over to it, picked up the still perfect vase, and got chills. God was teaching me that moment, and I could feel the Holy Spirit moving in my own heart. I looked up at these ladies and said, "Why don’t you trust God with your brokenness? You don't have to pretend to be perfect with Him. You must be willing to surrender your self-sufficiency and admit your need for the Lord if you truly want to know Him."

And then I really got brave and spoke about something that I know is an issue in many Asian cultures.

I said, "You are more concerned about appearances and saving face, and you refuse to expose your weakness. God says He loves you and He desires to do a beautiful thing in you, but you must be willing to be broken and cry out to Him for help."

There was silence in the room for a few moments and then I saw tears on the beautiful faces of those young women, some sobbing. God had their number. This issue of saving face and not appearing weak is one of the biggest barriers to an authentic relationship with Christ.

It says in Psalm 51:17, "My sacrifice O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, God, you will not despise."

And 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

When you're being squeezed and the pressure is turned up, don't pretend you got this. Admit that you don't and cry out to the Lord for help. God wants to show up for you!

He will do something beautiful in you, and you will know Him even better, if only you would trust Him in your brokenness.

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