What is weakness?
Dictionary.com defines weakness as…
“Lack of strength, firmness, vigor or the like; feebleness.”
“An inadequate or defective quality, as in a person’s character; slight fault or defect.”
While I understand these official definitions, I better connect with the following one:
“Any limitation you can’t change by yourself.” (Pastor Steve Miller)
I like the third definition of weakness because it gives hope. For me, the official definitions give too much of a discarded sense to the idea of weakness. Sure, weaknesses limit, but they also afford the possibility for improvement.
Improving Through Weaknesses
The best way to improve through weaknesses is by admitting they exist. Considering my own weaknesses, while not pleasant to acknowledge within and then admit outwardly, takes me down a path of self-evaluation. This path, one we all must take if we expect to grow, also requires that we recognize how automatic our weaknesses seem to operate in our lives until we directly address them.
Walking With a Limp
Jacob walked with a limp, and it served as a reminder of His encounter with God (Genesis 32:22-32). Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) that served to keep him humble.
Both Jacob and Paul moved forward in spite of their weaknesses. They did so by depending on God for strength, which Paul helps us better understand with these words…
“Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So, now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
As with Jacob and Paul, our weaknesses can remind us of our dependence on God and can counteract the dangerous state of independence. In fact, the power of God will increasingly dominate your life the more you acknowledge your weaknesses and let Him be glorified as you limp through life.
Weaknesses Provide Opportunity
Our weaknesses can motivate us to keep in daily contact with God as we learn to rely on Him to overcome our limitations. Ministry opportunities also increase when we become aware of our weaknesses and allow God to use them. Weaknesses connect us with others who have similar weaknesses, and together we get to learn to let God use our weaknesses for His glory.
Weaknesses Promote Fellowship
As we become more aware of our weaknesses, we also become more aware of those who can partner with us. God works through others in amazing ways, including through balancing each other through strengths and weaknesses.
Being strong enough to admit you are weak means admitting the existence of your weaknesses. It means understanding that these weaknesses will not go away, that we really don’t want them to, and that only the power of God can turn them into great triumphs.