Read: 2 Cor 4
I don’t like being weak, and I certainly don’t like being perceived as weak. So I engage in the stupidity of covering up. It is a clumsy attempt to project some other reality, one of relative strength and having it together.
I think I shortchange God when I do this. Paul was a man who was in touch with his weakness. I can imagine his CV saying ‘excellent education under Gamaliel, and later, Jesus himself, but I am not much to listen to, and i have several persistent and debilitating personal issues…’ Would you hire someone like that?
When I seek to give the impression of strength, the focus is on me, and the Gospel is masked. We have all seen mega churches which advertise their senior pastors with larger than life airbrushed images. What images might there have been outside Paul’s church (even though he was regional and itinerant, and not bound to a ‘church building’). A cross? A gallows and noose? A broken terra cotta pot? A picture of disability?
Weakness is God’s favourite work context
God uses weakness to reveal the beauty of his grace and character. This may unnerve us. Even so, that is how it is. He chose weak and underdeveloped Israel. Abraham and Sarah were old and past it. Moses was not a great speaker. David was too small for a soldier’s armour. Jesus was viewed as a reject, and gathered other rejects to himself. The cross is seen as foolishness. Jesus’ followers, small in number and uneducated, were given the task of making disciples of all nations.
Weakness is God’s favourite work context. Weakness is how he perfectly shows his power (2 Cor 12:9).
So I have my weaknesses and so do you. I should not feed them, thinking that a worse situation will end up being a context for greater power. That’s like sinning more to get more grace (Rom 6:1).
So while I work on my weaknesses, I will simply pray that God’s grace and power will be at work despite my weaknesses. I will pray that God’s work, God’s character, and God’s grace might be more clearly seen. That my work, my character or gifts might not be the focus.
I am a jar of clay. A cracked clay pot. So let the treasure of grace and the wonder of Christ be more clearly seen.
Q: How might God use your specific weaknesses and frustrations to reveal his power today?
If you’d like further encouragement to be open about your weaknesses, check out Michael Hyatt’s excellent piece, published yesterday: ‘Tell Your Story, The Good and The Bad’
Thanks for the reminder and through it the encouragement. Really being encouraged by your blog.
Amen, Dave. Yet so many people are missing our when they say that they don’t want to be puppets or robots. Dependance, absolute dependance at Christ is what makes us joyous. Weakness also includes that we are unable by ourself to choose for Christ, we acknowledge that, but then our pride comes around the corner and demanding that at the end, we are masters of our own destiny, we are strong and can deny Grace, through our own “free will”. Yet, we do not dare to speak out, afraid that we might lose church members, again, we do not depend on the Holy Spirit, but depend on our own fallible human strategies to “grow” a church, full of Arminians.