In a culture, where weakness is a four letter word, the reality of boasting in our weakness seems profane. Additionally, seeing weakness as beautiful is off putting at best, but more often grotesque to the heart of man. Weakness requires dependence and faith in the character and person of God. The Apostle Paul boasted in his weakness because it was evidence and proof that he had a sufficient God who was able to perform beyond all that he could ask or think. His surrender of his weakness was an invested stake in the strength of Christ. For when we are weak, He is strong!
He is Strong
This is such huge encouragement to the follower of Christ. I am not left vanquished or lacking, Christ Himself is my strength in all of my moments. What hope and support this provides. God isn’t giving us a simple attaboy to perform and produce, He is the tangible support we need to accomplish our lives and reach our destiny.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But He answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and My power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”
2 Corinthians 12:8–10 TPT
Weakness Door to Strength
Three times I begged the Lord for it to leave me, but His reply has been, “My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, My power is shown the more completely.” Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ. I can even enjoy weaknesses, suffering, privations, persecutions and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For my very weakness makes me strong in Him.
2 Corinthians 12:8-11 Phillips
So why am I discussing weakness when I have been on the topic of shame. Because to continue our weakness is shaming. It’s oh too normal for the heart of man to recoil from weakness. It’s sheer self-preservation, because weakness has meant extinction. A weak man is a dead man for the survivalist. Survival of the fittest does not support a celebrating of weakness. But Christ came to solve this dilemma. We don’t have to be ashamed of our weakness any longer. His Life is more than sufficient, and rescues me in all of my weakness. Not by making me STRONG but by being strength in me.
Shame is always the soul’s reaction to weakness. Actually shame is flesh’s response to any position that is in need of Christ. This is why Paul’s boasting was so scandalous to so many. Shame screams so loudly when I’m forced to rely on God and the Life of Christ. Man without Christ’s Life celebrates strength, size, power, accomplishment, force, and all the things that make us independent of God. This has happened ever since we thought we could know apart from Him in the garden. Paul’s message went completely counter to this self-aggrandized view. The wonders of man’s accomplishments make every average Joe feel ashamed of needing a God. “What a crutch! What a failure! What a weakling?!” Yep, and that is the point! We are weak, we do fail on our own, and from birth we are dependent and needy.
Celebrating our weakness is a punch in the eye to this shame. Embracing weakness as the door to His Life and strength stands in the face of every instinct we have for self. And there is only one way to quell this shame, it’s by following Paul to boast in our weakness. This boast waves the white flag of surrender to the Life of Christ and sends the shot across the bow of our fleshly independence. A win win approach to life.