FIRST WHAT IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE!
.Letting others run over me (but it may)
.Always talking about my weaknesses (which puts too much focus on ME)
.Inappropriate sharing of personal failure, such as sexual sins in a mixed crowd
.Self-deprecation (as if to say, “Look at how bad I’ve been,” which some take joy in)
.Being vulnerable with the wrong people at the wrong time for wrong reasons. Think Hezekiah.
.Foolish tempting of the Lord, like taking risks He has not called us to (jumping off the temple).
WHAT DOES WEAKNESS LOOK LIKE?
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Rom.8:26). That must also mean that the Spirit doesn’t help when we are trying to be strong. In my fear as a recovering Pharisee, I wanted to look strong, even though I knew I was weak. Trust me–that does not welcome the Holy Spirit.
“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (I Cor.1:27). God has a marked predisposition toward the weak. How comforting can you get!
“I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling” (I Cor.2:3). The mighty apostle modeled weakness for all to see. He didn’t try to sound eloquent or look powerful. Impressive!
“Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (I Cor.12:22). Weakness is built into our anatomy.
“It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (I Cor.15:43). We go from great weakness to great strength. Great. The reverse is also true. Look out!
“Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (2 Cor.11:29,30). Weakness helps us to identify with the weak. What kindness!
“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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor.12:9,10). Weakness is actually a weapon of war. It displays the power of God.
“He was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power”(2 Cor.13:4)). Weakness was modeled most clearly in the cross, the power of God unto salvation. Weakness goes the way of the cross, the way of self-denial.
TRUTHS ABOUT WEAKNESS
God can turn our greatest weakness into our greatest strength. Halleluia!
Weakness brings me God’s grace; it also encourages relationship and fellowship.
Weakness overcomes the devil, who would rather see me glorying in my strength.
Christ’s time of greatest weakness demonstrated God’s greatest power. Do you suppose that works for you as well?
God uses weakness to shame proud people.
Weakness encourages dependence upon God and interdependence with others.
Weakness facilitates healing (Js. 5:16) and brings the Spirit’s help.
Fear had made me want to look strong. Confidence in God allows me to live with my weakness. I became more vulnerable as I learned to deal with my pharisaism. Self-righteousness chokes out vulnerability, because self-righteous people are in hiding, as I was. When I started coming out, I discovered that vulnerability was really safer than running. Welcome to weak!