I guess that we all find it difficult to admit our weaknesses. Whilst I can’t cook to save my life, don’t know a plant from a weed and I’m hopeless at DIY – there are other more important areas in which I struggle.
For many of us our greatest strengths also have the potential to be our greatest weaknesses. Personally as a leader I have the capacity to analyse situations quickly and decisively however this has the potential for mistakes if care is not taken. I also have the ability to become very focused on the goals I have, to the detriment of those closest to me and others. I’ve also noticed recently that I can become quickly bored with people’s detailed recollections of events and yet when I’m telling a story…..well – you have to smile at your own weaknesses!
We All Have Strengths And Weaknesses
God created us all with strengths and weaknesses and I have to say, from the outset, that every success I have had in my life has been God working through me. I am more than aware of my own weaknesses and fallibility. God has been incredibly gracious to me – way beyond what I have deserved!
Paul acknowledges his weaknesses at the beginning of his first letter to the Corinthians:
‘I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.’ (1 Corinthians 2:3). What humility from Paul. What security in God! So few of us are willing to actually admit that they feel weak or have struggles and yet here is the great apostle admitting his own weakness and fear.
In his second letter to the Corinthians he states:
‘Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:29-30)
I believe that there are four main benefits of admitting our weaknesses:
Paul had every right to be proud – after all he had planted so many churches, written a large chunk of the New Testament, seen some amazing things and had some pretty incredible revelations from God. He said:
‘Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
As a young man I struggled with pride. I guess I thought I could do everything and be everything. Thank God that He taught me what everyone else had already recognised!
“If you’re afraid to let someone else see your weakness, take heart: Nobody’s perfect. Besides, your attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do.”
Increases Dependency On God
Andre Crouch said it like this, “If I never had a problem, I’d never know God could solve them.”
The next time you feel weak, inadequate, fearful or ill equipped for the task ahead – why don’t you ask God to help? He has helped me so much during my life in all kinds of situations and circumstances. In fact there have been many occasions when I have been amazed at what God has done in me and through me – so often way beyond my own expectations; ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Corinthians 12:10)
The old hymn by Joseph M. Scriven encourages us to take our weaknesses to God in prayer:
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
My weaknesses have taught me to totally depend on God and to pray (really pray). Have you discovered the power of prayer? Are you feeling weak or inadequate in an area of your life right now – take it to God in prayer. Don’t keep struggling on. Don’t believe the lie of the enemy that nothing will ever change. Take it to God in prayer. You will be amazed at what He will do. His grace is always sufficient. His power is made perfect in weakness.
Releases The Power Of God In Our Lives
There is hidden power available when we recognise our weaknesses.
Do you have an area of weakness? We all have them! Can I encourage you to take those weaknesses to God and particularly if there are areas where you are tempted and can easily fall into sin. Truly ‘His grace is sufficient for you’ in every area that you struggle. Your job is, on a daily basis, not to feed the temptation or weakness by allowing yourself to be in such a position. Cut the source. Don’t walk down that path. Don’t give the enemy a chance to draw you in. Ask for help throughout each day.
If we will only humble ourselves before God and say ‘God I need your help and your power in this area of my life’ – He promises to come through for us!
‘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 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)
I have witnessed this so many times in so many contexts whether in secular work, relationships, family life, ministry, challenges, battles, struggles – God has always provided the grace and strength to come through. He is TRUE to His Word.
Release Those Around Us To Help
Why struggle on trying to succeed in an area of weakness? Ask someone to help. There are people around you right now who God has placed there and they are waiting to be asked!! If you’re a pastor, leader or manager you risk losing some of the best people in your church, business or team if you do not allow them to use their gifts and abilities. They are simply waiting to be asked.
As a leader myself, I’m quite a good all rounder, but there are areas where I struggle and quite frankly, even if I was great at everything, I simply don’t have the time or the capacity to do everything!! You can achieve far more for God by utilising the skills and strengths of others than you ever will on your own.
Pause for thought: who has God placed right in front of you as a resource for this season? Maybe it’s time to have a look around. Where God calls – He equips.
Take A Positive Approach To Your Weaknesses
This is the way God made you….with strengths and weaknesses. Enjoy being YOU! It’s actually how God intended His body, the church, to flourish (check out Rom. 12 & 1 Cor. 12!) with everyone playing their part, using their unique gifts, abilities, personalities and experiences to the benefit of everyone else. God planned it this way and the same principle applies in every team, workplace and ministry.
‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ (Isaiah 40:28-31)
My friend, His grace is sufficient for you this day because His power is made perfect in weakness. I’m praying that you will discover the hidden strength there is in weakness.