“My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Cor 12:9
Boasting is something we are usually discouraged from doing and yet this week’s passage from 2nd Corinthians is all about boasting. Paul boasts for 2 whole chapters, but instead of boasting about things that make him look good or about his accomplishments; Paul boasts about his weaknesses. He boasts about the things that he does wrong, his afflictions, his hardships, and his humiliations. Common sense tells us this isn’t a great way to win people over. Sharing our weaknesses with others leaves us vulnerable to their judgment. But Paul sees something else. He sees that when we boast of our weaknesses, we are revealing our need for God and our faith in Jesus Christ. Because it is our moments of weakness, when we admit we can’t do it ourselves, that open our hearts to the power of Jesus Christ.
Once as a part of an interview for ministry, I was asked to name my weaknesses. The interviewer wanted an honest view of what I struggled with. It didn’t take long before I had a long list of areas I could use some improvement. Then he asked me to name my strengths and I had a hard time coming up with very many, but he kept urging me on until my strengths outnumbered my weaknesses. He was trying to show me the places where my spiritual gifts and God’s will line up as a part of my development in ministry. But it also reminds me where God’s grace can carry me on, in spite of my weaknesses.
God’s Grace At Work
The Greek root of the word weakness literally means to come undone or come apart. Wherever we are coming apart or about to- that is where God’s grace is at work. Paul isn’t boasting of his weaknesses because his weaknesses are great and he likes being in pain. He doesn’t celebrate weakness- who could? Instead, Paul is boasting of God’s grace at work in him. So let us all boast gladly of our weaknesses because it is there that God’s grace and power shines in us. Thanks be to God!
This post is part three of a six part series titled “Strong and Courageous: Living by Faith”