Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

“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. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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. 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)

We don’t like weaknesses. When was the last time you sulked, “I’m just not good at this. Look at him or her, they are way smarter than me, they are way more sociable than me, they are way more confident and able in every single way compared to me. It looks like I’m going to get nowhere in life.”

We all have to admit that we dislike or maybe even hate our weaknesses. We try to suppress them and hide them. They become our insecurities and cause us to be anxious. We think our weakness in one aspect of life is a hindrance for our full potential to flourish. 

However, Paul boasts in his weakness because Christ’s power is exemplified through it. Desiring God’s Jon Bloom likens weakness to talents God has given us, which we must cultivate. How is this so?

It is hard to come to terms with our weaknesses. We are often frustrated and think if only I were smarter or more extroverted or more confident, or on the flip side, if I were less of a bigmouth, if I didn’t think so abstractly, or have more wisdom than overconfidence, then I would be able to serve God better. However, we are wrong. 

God gives us strengths and weaknesses for a reason. God does not only give us strengths to teach us humility and teach us to only rely on Him. If we could do everything, we would disregard God and boast in our own strength. But, God wants His power to shine through our weaknesses. Thus, when we are used by God despite our weaknesses, we will be able to attribute all the glory to God’s miraculous and wondrous work. 

The ultimate point is, God wants us to trust Him. That is what the Christian walk is all about. Because of that, we shouldn’t be ashamed of where we are weak. Instead, we should boast in the fact that we rely fully on God, and He can work through us despite our weaknesses. 

Moreover, God gives us weaknesses so that we can rely on each other in the church. We all have different strengths, but we also have various weaknesses. God’s work is not a one-man show. We need each other. Where we are weak, others are strong. God teaches us to love one another through our weaknesses. God fosters love within our community when we know that we are weak in one area, but other brothers and sisters can fill in for us. In such a way, we fulfil God’s command to love one another. And, through this love, God’s light shines to the world.

The world thinks we need to overcome all our weaknesses and become invincible humans who have no flaws. The flaw in that is that we reject God and believe in ourselves instead. So, what thorn has God put in your life? How are we going to cultivate our weaknesses so that God will be glorified?

Thank You, God, that You make each of us with unique strengths and weaknesses. Please help us to trust in You so that Your power may be made known through our weaknesses. Teach us also to love one another in Your church so that we may grow in love as we learn to help each other. May Your name be glorified through all our weaknesses. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Further Reading: Weakness May Be Your Greatest Strength