A Necessary Weakness
“When I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12:10
Has anyone ever counseled you to become weaker? Should we ever tell someone “Your problem is you are not weak enough.”?
The first time I ever heard a counselor tell someone they were too strong and they needed a good dose of weakness, I was shocked.
Today I regularly tell people they are in urgent need of a certain kind of weakness. Usually they are just as shocked by my words as I was when I first heard this kind of counsel. Even so, I believe deeply in weakness before God as the most needed quality for more strength.
The right kind of weakness before God allows us to open ourselves up to God in newer and more powerful ways. The right kind of weakness before God is the difference between seed falling on receptive, broken ground or falling on hardened, rock hard ground.
So, what is the right kind of weakness?
It is weakness we experience when we see who we are compared to who God is. It is the honest evaluation of what we can overcome on our own and what God can overcome as we believe. It is the difference between a person who remains open to God’s action and a person who thinks they have seen it all and there is nothing new coming.
Many of the things God allows in our lives are what some have called “Pain, the gift nobody wants.” It is the kind of pain that comes saying “You are getting too strong for your own good.” It is the pruning Jesus described as part of the normal Christian life.
One way I remind myself of my tendency to not remain open to what God is capable of doing is to repeat these words.
He is. I am not.
He has. I do not.
He can. I cannot.
He knows. I do not.
As strange as it may seem, I am strengthened in the right way when I weakened before Him with these words. These words make me receptive and receptivity is the necessary weakness.
I agree with Oswald Chambers who asked: “Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done before?”
If we are not expecting greater things from God, we will expect greater things from ourselves and be crushed under the burden of making things happen. When we are not weak enough before who He is, we will not look for the greater things He can do.