June 21 I Tuesday
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” —2 Corinthians 11:30
In our day and age, we are taught to be successful by exhibiting strength as we hide our weaknesses, by displaying confidence as we bury our doubts and by showing boldness as we conceal our terror and fears. When we live in this manner, we use our own resources as a means of perfecting our image, but when these resources fail, we become exhausted and burnt out. Why? Because we are not intended to live by our own resources but in the strength and power of the risen Christ within us.
If we are content with what we can do by ourselves, then all we are doing is magnifying ourselves. If our lives can be explained in terms of us—our skills, abilities, gifts, temperaments and personality—then there is only one person that will get the applause, ourselves. But the resources that Paul exhibited were out of his weakness. People saw strength out of his poverty, riches out of his vulnerability and stability out of his uncertainties because the only valid explanation for Paul doing what he did and being who he was, was the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ within him. It was not his skills or his abilities that mattered. Paul had skills, but God had to break those because brokenness is more biblical than wholeness and brokenness is the only way to wholeness.
Paul was very transparent about who he was. He called himself the chief of sinners and the least amongst the apostles. But Paul learned by experience that it is in our weakness that we discover Christ is our strength: “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 Corinthians 12:9-10).
We only discover Christ as our resource when we stop trying to hide our weaknesses and limitations and begin to be honest about them. When we are weak, that is when we allow Jesus Christ to be strong in us, but as long as we are self-sufficient, we limit, inhibit and hinder what He could do in us. Out of our weakness and poverty, Jesus Christ is magnified when we allow Him to lead us beyond what we cannot do and allow Him to make us what we know we are not.
Christ is in the business of exchanging our weakness for His strength, our dirt for His cleanliness and our poverty for His riches, so the next time we find ourselves feeling weary and weak, may we remember that we are strong in Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that You are my strength when I am weak. May I learn to boast more of my weakness and more of Your work in me.