As we enter 2020, tons of us are making New Year’s resolutions that involve going to the gym…but as a dad of three kids, my weekly job includes carrying toys that are too heavy for my kids and reaching things that are too high for my kids. Now, as a guy who’s not super strong or super tall, this has become a highlight of my week – it’s way more empowering than any trip to the gym!!
Okay, you know I’m kidding…But we’ve hit on a cultural issue in our world today, and it’s this: we think weakness is shameful. And in a new year, I want to propose we look at weakness in a new way.
Demonstrating weakness indicates we’re “not good enough” for our can-do, go-getter culture. Many of us spend our lives trying to cover over weaknesses with anything that will do the trick for the moment…And like most cover-up attempts, we experience certain consequences – even painful ones, at times! – that end up revealing that we’re more or less faking it. As an example, this reminds me of working out at the gym. Let’s be real – I have never been particularly strong. But when you’re at the gym, you need to go for it! So in attempts to avoid being seen as weak, I usually lift more weight and do more repetitions than I can actually physically do. But then overdoing it makes me so sore I need to take a week off, and then I’m even further behind on any fitness goals I had!
By trying to avoid weakness, I not only end up enduring pain, but not living in my present reality as well. We do this in lots of other ways, too, not just working out. How many times have you pushed past the “weakness” of your need to sleep because you’re working so much? Or maybe in your social circles, strength belongs to whoever parties the hardest. What about when we make cutthroat decisions in business or our personal lives in order to gain power of some kind?
I hope you’re getting the picture at this point…in our ceaseless drive to be strong, we end up weakening ourselves. We push ourselves to breaking point, and anyone or anything that gets in the way is fair game. Our culture’s aversion to weakness is actually self-destructive.
You know why? Because God created our weaknesses.
I know, I know, that sounds a little crazy at first, but hear me out! I’m not saying God created our sin. No, we choose whether we sin or not. But God created humans with limits. I mean, if we didn’t have limitations we’d be divine, right? But you and I both know, there’s only one God, and it ain’t us.
But as usual, when you include God in your life’s equation, things end up in beautifully unique places. When the apostle Paul was struggling with his own sense of weakness, God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Although we are terrified of weakness, God transforms weakness into a display of strength – His strength! Where we are weak, God can show Himself strong on our behalf. What we fear the most, not being seen as perfect, is God’s chosen area to show how powerful He is. This transforms weakness into God’s chosen moment to be on display.
I don’t know what weakness you’re currently frustrated by…But ask yourself this: Who made your strengths? (Hint: the correct answer is God). So then ask yourself, who made your weaknesses? Since God made all of who you are, you can trust that God designed your weaknesses as specifically and intricately as He did your strengths.
Your weakness is the specific way God has given you to depend on Him for strength.
God is not offended by or scared of your weakness. He loves to be the strength and sufficiency we need for the work He’s given us to do. So let’s depend on Him this week! Give God your weaknesses, and watch expectantly for the amazing work He wants to do through your surrendered life.