April / May 2017 - Vol. 91
YouthWorks-Detroit staff and
                                youth outdoors

Strength in Sincerity
by Stephen Giles

Detroit is as real of a city as you will find. There is an almost tangible sense of genuineness and authenticity that pours forth from the heart of this city. I have experienced this honesty while attending the 12 step meetings at the soup kitchen, during conversations with our youth, or with people on the street.

Detroit’s ability to be real and authentic has tremendous power and I think it is one of Detroit’s greatest strengths.

When we share honestly, and openly with one another we allow God’s strength to be known and proclaimed. When we admit how we’ve failed and continue to fail, we bear witness to what 2 Corinthians 12 says; “(God’s) power is made perfect in weakness.”

Furthermore we let others in on the not so secret fact that we are broken and in need of God’s mercy. Sharing that with others then allows them the freedom to also share with raw honesty.

The fruit of sharing honestly and being vulnerable are many. I have mentioned some, but doing this also brings healing, freedom, and growth. I write this as a testimony, not because it is something that I do particularly well, but rather because through Detroit, God has shown me how much I need to work on this. He has shown me how valuable and necessary it is to live like this as a Christian.

And not just, or even primarily, because of how it will benefit me, but because of the witness of His power, love, mercy, and faithfulness that it gives and because of how others will benefit from hearing of my failings and God’s perfection.

Stephen Giles grew up in Lansing in the Work of Christ Community and currently serves with YouthWorks-Detroit. He is a proud Michigander, and enjoys summers up north.

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