Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Value of Weakness

People are obsessed with weakness.

We can't stand weakness. We hate it in ourselves and we look for it in other people. Many times we try and ignore it, or mask it, or stuff it away somewhere where it can't be seen. We love trying to find weakness in other people so that we can feel better about ourselves. We try and minimize our own weakness by measuring it up with someone else's.

But what if we are looking at weakness the wrong way? Could it be that it's through weakness that we truly realize who we are, what we need and what we could be? But more importantly, our weaknesses reveal that we are all in need of a savior. That we, in fact, need God in our lives every second of every day? 

All of us have weaknesses. It's an inescapable, irrefutable, indisputable fact. And the sooner we can admit that to ourselves, and to each other, the sooner we can move forward in our walk with God. 

Weaknesses, or "thorn(s) in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7), come in many shapes and forms: emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, and relational to name a few.

But let me be perfectly clear: Our weaknesses should never define us. There are a lot of people who tend to link their identity with their weakness, and that will lead to a life lived in a position of weakness. Friends, that is no way to live.

In his second letter to the Corinthian Christians, Paul writes about his own thorn in the flesh. His weakness. He had pleaded with the Lord repeatedly to take away the thorn. To pull it away from him. But He answered him curiously:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9 
In the end, Christ is about transforming lives. He wants to use our weaknesses, our suffering, our trials, to shape us and mold us and refine us. God always used people throughout the Bible who had major flaws and weaknesses. Moses had a speech impediment and serious anger issues; David was a serious height disadvantage when facing Goliath and also succumbed to adultery; Peter showed his weakness when he denied Christ three times. There are countless examples of weaknesses that in end were used for good, if we allow Christ to transform our hearts and minds.

Like Paul, we can boast in our weaknesses, knowing that Christ is not leaving us the way we were. He works in and through our weaknesses to reveal His awesome power and glory, and because of that we do not have to walk timidly or in shame or guilt. That's how we can be strong when we are weak: By trusting Him with our weaknesses and allowing the Holy Spirit to take control over those areas of our lives, taking that critical step of faith. Not through our own strength and ability, but thorough Christ's. His grace is enough to guide us through our weaknesses. He equips us to face weaknesses and trials so that the world could see that we are not dominated by our weakness, but through Christ, we can overcome those weaknesses.

Let our weaknesses serve as reminders that we need to lean on Christ, our rock and source of strength, every second of every day and that we need Him more than the next breath we take.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 12, Hebrews 11:32-34, Romans 8:26

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