May 4, 2017

Boasting Weakness

“How was your game?” Cathy asked me when I came home from hockey this week. “Not great”; I told her.

I went on to say; “I played good defense and stopped and blocked several shots. At one point my goalie said thanks for saving some goals by taking the hit. But offensively, I didn’t score a goal or an assist and we seemed to be off as a team.”  

And, when I couldn’t play as well as I wanted to, I had to stop myself because I could feel self-criticism creeping into my vocabulary.

Yes, in the big picture, I will survive to play another and better game. And yes, it’s OK if I lose, but I don’t like to play and not make some difference to my teammates.

The fact is, parts of my game were out of my control and even though I did my best, I needed to admit that I had weakness in my game.

So, I have been pondering that word weakness” this week as around me things have been beyond my control. People I have been working with have been making dumb decisions and seemingly throwing away all my sage advice.

All around me seemed (with my distorted lenses on) to be people whose lives were in chaos. Some of them ended up (actually) dying by drinking themselves to death or continuing to kill a relationship that at one point meant something to them.

Weakness is translated in the Bible:  feebleness (of body or mind); by implication malady; moral frailty: - disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness. more feeble, impotent, sick, without strength

None of us like to admit we have weakness in any part of our game or our lives. We want to believe that we are the superstar, the champion, the one who still has it (whether we had before or not).

And yet we all have weakness, no matter how hard we try to change the circumstance, and we all have areas we still struggle in or that are out of our control in our lives; and in the lives we try to help put back together.  

Simply put, this week I needed to admit that I had weakness in my life if I was going to survive this game of life.

I remember years ago when I was a young pastor some counsel that another older pastor gave to me. He said that IF I was going to work with people who wanted to kill themselves, I had to be “ok” with the fact that they may end up killing themselves no matter what I said or did. The same was true with people pondering an abortion or a divorce or struggling with an addiction.

The apostle Paul wrote about his weakness saying that he BOASTED in and about his weakness.

He had an area of his life that wasn’t as he wished it to be and prayed that the Lord would heal him so that he wouldn’t be weak any more.

He wrote that he prayed to be healed three times and that the Lord said to Paul; My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 

Paul’s responds (this amazes me) by writing; 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).

Earlier in that same letter to the Church in Corinth he wrote;“Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.” (2 Corinthians 11:29-30)

Boasting in his weakness? How??? Because Paul came to realize that his weakness was a conduit for the Lord to show His glory (through) Paul’s life. He didn’t have to have every area of his life working perfectly (as he thought it should be) for the Lord to use him.

Simply put, he could do his best and trust that God could still do great things through his best attempt; even if it wasn’t his best “game”.

Paul responded to this revelation by writing; 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 12:9b-10)

Paul is saying; “I just let Christ take over! And so, the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

That is the kind of man I want to be, whether playing in a hockey game or in the game of life. A man who boasts in his weakness that the power of God and the glory of God may be seen by others who observe my life!


All Scripture Taken from NLT Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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