Embracing Weakness

I mentioned a few weeks ago my break away from blogging was unintentional, but needed. What God was doing in me is spoken of in a message I shared with my church last Sunday. The post below summarizes the sermon, but if you’d like to listen to or download the message, it’s right here for you to dig into.

“‘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.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9

The first half of this verse is words spoken to Paul by Jesus, as Paul had repeatedly asked for what he calls a “thorn” in his flesh to be removed. Jesus’ ultimately responds by saying no, why? Because the power of God is made perfect as Paul embraces this weakness in his life.

Embracing weakness is not exactly a hallmark of life in the 21st century. Kayne sells millions of albums by declaring himself to be the greatest. The hashtag #GOAT (Greatest of All Time) gets thrown around constantly as we look for people to define greatness.

Even when weakness is shown, it’s usually a bait and switch tactic to gain notoriety and influence. “Look at how weak and broken I am,” mixed with a selfie always sells on social media. But Christ isn’t encouraging fake weakness, he’s talking about a broken, contrite, and humble spirit.

Paul writes on this in his first letter: “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate” (1 Cor 4:12). And then he adds, “We have become like the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things.” Not exactly the kind of weakness that builds a following.

In other words, this kind of lifestyle, this kind of response to abuse, suffering, and brokenness, looks feeble and inept to society today. Well, at least it looks that way to those who thrive on pride and power.

But the Christ follower is not called to live like the world. No, we are called to glorify God in all that we do, and Jesus tells us that the greatest way to do this is through weakness. The Bible is full of men and women who embraced this:

Moses had a speech impediment.

Jeremiah struggled with depression.

Jonah ran away from God.

Abraham was a liar. So was his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob.

Every single one of the disciples abandoned Jesus in the hour of his greatest need.

Rather than putting off weakness as some sort of negative character trait, Christians should embrace their faults, knowing God’s power will shine through all the more brightly.

John Newton once said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”

Embrace this today!