I do not like acknowledging my weaknesses. I guess it’s more of a pride thing than anything else. Of course, I don’t like acknowledging that I’m prideful either…but there it is.
Aside from pride, why is it hard to acknowledge our weaknesses? Weaknesses make us feel vulnerable and we don’t like to feel vulnerable. Our weaknesses can keep us from being part of something that requires strength in an area where we do not have strength. They make us feel ashamed, inadequate.
Now when I refer to weaknesses, I’m not talking about shortcomings in areas that I can control. For example, I might want to say that I have a weakness in the area of patience. I’m not always patient, especially when I’m tired or pressed for time. When I say hop, I want people to hop…like right then. I don’t want to say things twice. In fact, I don’t want to have to say things once if I think someone should intuitively know what I want done.
The patience issue is not a weakness; it is my sinful nature. When all is said and done, I choose to be impatient. I can exercise more self-control; sadly, there are just times that I don’t want to.
On the other hand, the weaknesses I’m talking about are the things that I have no control over. They are infirmities; a handicap; limitations to what I am capable of doing intellectually, physically, or socially; a disability.
Not long ago, I found myself trying to console a child who has a learning disability. He posed this question to me, “Why am I not smart? Why do I have to struggle like this?” His heart was hurting and he was so frustrated. I wanted to ask God the same questions.
Why would God want His followers to have weaknesses?
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about one of his weaknesses that caused him great distress. He called his weakness “a thorn in his flesh.” He was completely incapable of changing it. He even asked God to remove it, but He didn’t. In the end, Paul was grateful!
All of us have weaknesses and limitations. You know, I have found that there is great power in recognizing and accepting my limitations; not as handicaps, but more as a means of fully embracing God’s mercy and grace in my life. If His power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), then He doesn’t see my limitations as handicaps but rather as opportunities to show His power; so should I not see them in the same way?
Not only will God use my weaknesses to display His power, He will use them to protect me. My weaknesses keep me humble and free from pride and arrogance. A person's pride will bring about his downfall, but the humble in spirit will gain honor (Proverbs 29:23).
So, while others boast in their strength, I will stand with Paul and boast in my weakness because I know that when in my weakness I become strong, it is the power of Christ that dwells in me.
For those with weaknesses, take comfort in knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for you, that where you are weakest, you are strongest because His power is perfected in your weakness.
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