From grade-school courses to the Olympic games, personal performance is measured and identified as a success or failure. These terms have set standards in our society that cause us to modify our behavior.
Of course, many of us make these modifications to increase our odds of success. However, if you’re like me, a fear of failure is the greater motivation. The reason being, success is often linked to strength while failure is viewed as weakness. This perspective also affects the Christian faith.
The Apostle Paul has long been viewed as “…The Christian of all Christians” – a man bent on following Christ, allowing nothing to stand in his way (Phil. 3:8-10). Today, many believers who read Paul’s story consider his effort toward being that type of follower, successful. His success in furthering the gospel from conversion until his final days, is inspiring and even goal worthy. Be that as it may, Paul was no stranger to weakness.
In addition to numerous obstacles, Paul had a hurdle that he was unable to overcome. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-8, the apostle writes about a thorn of the flesh being given to him so that he would not become conceited. We don’t have enough information to know exactly what this “thorn” was. What we do know is that Paul begged The Lord three times to remove it. In verse nine, God responds to his requests, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul goes on to boast in his weakness for the sake of Christ. Verse ten emphasizes the importance of a proper perspective of weakness.
“…For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Regardless of where you’re at in life or what goals you’re pursuing, let me encourage you – boast in your weakness. If you’re a follower of Christ, work hard at any and everything you do. Yet, be mindful of where your strength is coming from.
Mission Reports, observations, and encouragement from your favorite Student Ministry Team.