By Ally Richmond
Professional Writing Major, Honors College
“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 12:9
When you are writing a resume, going in for an interview or even just meeting someone for the first time, you are likely to emphasize your strengths over your weaknesses. Right? You wouldn’t go into a job interview and say, “I think I would be good at this job because I procrastinate things all the time and I am never on time.” That would be ridiculous! We go into interviews confidently, and tell those meeting us for the first time all the positive things about us. It is counterintuitive to talk about our weaknesses. In fact, we usually try to hide them.
Today more than ever, we are held to incredibly high standards of near perfection, causing us to brush our weaknesses under the rug and not let anyone know about our failures or shortcomings. We try to put on a façade of strength, and we can’t hold it up forever.
If weaknesses are so bad, then why does Paul say that we should boast about them?
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul quotes Jesus who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God is perfect in every way, giving Him the power to make up for any weaknesses we have. And we have a lot.
Paul says because of this, he will be even more aware and vocal about his weakness in order that God might come in and support him. God’s power perfects our weaknesses, allowing us to do so much more than we could ever do on our own.
Paul goes on in verse 10, saying, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
When we are weak, insulted, going through hardships, being persecuted or dealing with difficulties, it is an opportunity for God to give us strength. While it might seem frustrating or awful in the moment, we should trust God to show up and strengthen us.
In many instances throughout the Bible, we see God use an individual’s weakness to better help His kingdom. For example, in Exodus 6:30, the Lord commands Moses to go to Egypt and speak to Pharaoh and Moses replies, saying, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?” Moses’ weakness is his ability to speak well in front of crowds and yet that is exactly what God is calling him to do.
God is asking Moses to do something he isn’t good at on his own in order to show him His power. Through God’s power alone, Moses and his brother Aaron were able to speak to Pharaoh. This isn’t something Moses could even have done by his own power.
The strength that God will provide in our weaknesses is much greater than any strength that we could muster on our own. So we should not try and hide or avoid our weaknesses, but rather, embrace them, allowing God to strengthen you in ways you could never have imagined.
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