‘We need weak men who in their weakness become strong’ – Matt Chandler
This quote really hit home with me because when it comes to serving God or helping others I tend to focus on my strengths. I also tend to avoid my weaknesses; I don’t even like talking about them. As Chandler points out, I need to focus less on what I can do for God or others with my strengths and look more to what God can do with my weaknesses.
If we let Him, God can use our weaknesses as opportunities to shine His light through us and offer something far more powerful than any of our strengths.
Our weaknesses make the best opportunities to experience God’s light for two reasons. For one, we quickly learn that we can’t rely on ourselves in the weak areas of our lives. That means we have an easier time admitting to ourselves and God that we need His help when it comes to those areas.
Secondly, it brings to light the true beauty of God when we see Him engage with the parts of us that we’re not proud of. As people, we tend to love our strengths while God pursues us even in our weaknesses. That difference is a really big deal because it shows that God does not love us because of what we can offer Him and proves that His love is unconditional.
Together these two points really pave the way for bringing us to our knees before God. Our weaknesses remind us that we desperately need God and His reaction to those weaknesses tells us that He desperately wants to help us in our need. At its core, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross represents His response to our greatest need and shows what He’s willing to do in order to help us.
God doesn’t just want to just help us with our sins either. He wants to help us with every part of our lives. This goes directly against our tendency to rely on ourselves and then focus on all our strengths that help us do that.
We naturally lean on our strengths and want to develop or show off those strengths. Taking that approach cuts down how much we rely on God and sets us up for failure when the big problems come our ways. We focus on how to leverage our strengths to find success at work or hobbies and then struggle when faced with problems that our strengths can’t handle, like marriage and kids.
We struggle because we’re not used to relying on anyone besides ourselves and admitting that we need help scares us to death. The sooner we get used to opening up about our weaknesses and other areas in life where we struggle, the better. No matter who you are, life will get too hard at some point and you will have to rely on a strength greater than yourself.
God really wants to provide that greater strength and we will never find that out if we just focus on what makes us strong.
Focusing on our strengths will make us gravitate to the areas of life where people need our strengths and avoid the areas that they don’t, that’s why men end up working long hours at their jobs and avoid their families. We need to acknowledge this problem and turn in the opposite direction. We need to see the value of our weaknesses and lean into them.
God gives us our weaknesses to show us that we can’t handle everything on our own and that we need Him to help us. That’s REALLY good news because the strength He offers is impossibly better than anything we can muster. That strength will allow us to face the impossible problems that life throws at us like discerning the heart of our spouses and raising our teenages
It would help all of us to think less and less about what makes us strong and turn our thoughts to what make us weak. We should take to God what we see with this new perspective and ask Him through prayer and our small groups to fill in our weak spots with His strength and love. This strategy can bring dramatic change to our lives and start to show us that we don’t need to rely on ourselves to make it through life, which is great news.
Do you think it’s possible to find one weakness a week and lean into that weakness with prayer and some honest conversations with your small group or accountability partner?
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