“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b
Power is sexy. We live in a world that admires strength and pities weakness. Fortune 500 companies, movie stars, and politicians all have some level of power over our lives. Some athletes have the physical power to dominate their opponents. We often celebrate and admire the power they all have.
But have you heard anyone brag about being weak lately? The Apostle Paul did. He had been through many life-threatening situations. Yet, he didn’t brag that he made it through in his own strength. He knew that it was only God’s strength that carried him.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, his attitude is one of gratefulness for weakness. The man who once possessed the power to order the imprisonment and execution of Christ-followers, speaks of how glad he is to lack power because his weakness served to magnify how big his God is.
Paul understood that in his own limited power, he could not do the work for which God had called him—to spread the gospel to the world. But, by admitting his own limitations, he opened the door for God to work powerfully.
We should have the same attitude as Paul. Instead of relying on our own strength or resourcefulness, we should trust in God to supply the power. Then we can say along with Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Lord, help me see my weaknesses as opportunities for You to show Your power. I offer me limitations to You today. I’m trusting You to do what I cannot. Amen.
Thought: Take the opportunity to thank God for your weaknesses. If there is a specific area of service you are struggling in, ask Him to give you the power to serve Him to the best of your ability.
“…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
I grew up in a time when we dressed up to go to church on Sunday. Everyone at my church looked pretty much the same. The men wore ties. The women wore dresses. The children were all clean-faced and well-behaved. The church building was big and spotless and everyone wore a smile. I grew up thinking that that was what Christians looked like.
As I got older, my understanding of Christianity began to change as I met Christians who didn’t look or act like me. Some were rougher around the edges. Some didn’t go to church as often as I did. They had different views of life and faith. My image of what a Christian looked like changed as my life experiences became more varied.
I began to realize that I was judging others’ relationship to God by the way they looked and acted. I was even taking comfort in knowing I fit the holy image in my own mind.
But God has shown me that this kind of self-righteousness is full of flaws.
The prophet Samuel knew that it was not the outward appearance of a person that determined his or her destiny. It was the heart.
Our God is so creative that He made people from all cultures, backgrounds, and life issues to worship Him. Followers of Christ may all look different to each other, but our hearts carry the very same love of God.
God, forgive me for judging others’ faith by their outward appearance. Help me see people the way You do. Amen.
Thought: Do you tend to judge people based on their appearance? Ask God to show you where you can begin to shift your thinking.