I don’t know about you, but I love it when people are impressed by me and hate it when they’re disappointed. The problem is that we often aren’t all that impressive. I know that I’m certainly not as impressive as I’d like others to think.
For a long time I’ve thought that weakness was my enemy and performance was my goal. “Fake it till you make it”.
From my experience, living a fake, shiny, polished life sucks. I’ve found it lonely and incredibly unsatisfying. The alternative is way better.
Maybe this is where I’ll lose you, but I’ve found that the Gospel provides a radically better way of life.
Strength in weakness
Paul writes about a fair few “paradoxes” of faith. A great man that I know calls them examples of the “Upside-down Kingdom”. When we allow God into our world, he turns our lives up-side down and restores life to it’s intended path.
I’ve always thought that my weakness would mean I would miss out. I thought that people wouldn’t like me, respect me, and ultimately wouldn’t want to be around me.
Deep down, I thought that it’d stop me from being loved. If anyone saw who I truly was, they wouldn’t love me.
If you’re like me, here’s some of the most freeing and stunning news in the world.
But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
His grace is sufficient. It’s nothing that you can offer. He loves you just as you are. It took hearing that 1000 times for me to finally understand it. But there’s more here than that.
Weakness does not mean you miss out. In the light of the gospel of grace, weakness is a reality that leads to opportunity:
1. When we are weak, God gets the glory. Our success points to him. This is huge because it both points people to their most important need, and keeps us humble (verse 7 below).
2. Awareness of our weakness allows us to see the truth of the Gospel. The greater our realised need for a saviour, the more we can feel the love of the one who came and died for us.
To whom is forgiven much, can love much – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+7%3A36-50&version=NKJV
3. There are few interactions as significant as someone willing to trust you with their weakness. For me, it’s the kind of love that allows for me to openly share my soul.
4. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis
Maybe you have a favourite quote? I’d love to hear it, same with any other thoughts you’ve had while reading mine!
Here is the context of 2 Corinthians 12:9
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10