Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Give Your Weaknesses a High Five

* disclaimer: this post does contain affiliate links that help to fund my efforts in supporting your homeschooling & spiritual growth *

There's a great debate about weaknesses vs. strengths. 

In college I had to read (rather, GOT to read) the book Now, Discover Your Strengths. It's all about embracing what you are naturally good at and focusing more on improving and using those traits instead of spending all your energy getting rid of your weaknesses. There's a lot of helpful advice in that! Sure, you've got to make sure your weaknesses are not wiping out your strengths, but spending priceless time and energy trying to become that much better on a skill that you will likely never be great at is just not wise.

However, it's different with Jesus (as are most things, right?). 

It's not that we can't work to improve in our areas of strength, or that we shouldn't spend some effort making sure our weaknesses aren't drowning us. It's that in Jesus, our weaknesses can be like magic.

Well, not a magic for us to harness ourselves, but they are an avenue Jesus uses to make Himself so glorious

Before I go into that, one more thing about our strengths. When we rely on them, we are going to eventually encounter some level of disappointment. After all, we are human and we have limits! If we boast in what we are skilled in or what we can accomplish, that stuff can be wiped away in an instant, putting us to shame. Thankfully, there is one thing we can confidently boast in: knowing God

In Jeremiah 9 there is a conversation going back and forth between God and Jeremiah about the people of Israel. In it he tells Jeremiah to tell the people:

"Thus says the LORD: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight declares the LORD.'" Jeremiah 9:23-24

Knowing and understanding God is what God says we can boast about; knowing what God loves and does and delights in. I'm pretty sure that turns into us loving and doing and delighting in those same things. 

So, we boast in our understanding and knowing God, and then Paul, hundreds, of years later tells us we can boast in one more thing: our weaknesses.

Photo credit: Siora Photography @siora18

Paul has gone over this ideas several times in 1 & 2 Corinthians, that is it through weakness that Christ's power is revealed. Finally in 2 Corinthians 12 he begins to tell about his personal struggle with a "thorn in the flesh," which he saw as a weakness, something he desperately wanted to be relieved of. After much pleading, God speaks to Paul telling him "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness." 

But what does that actually look like? 

Cindy Rollins posted something about this recently, and it really spoke to my heart as a homeschooling mother since my weaknesses are constantly being revealed to my children. Head over to her blog to be encouraged by her experience of Christ showing up in her weakness during a talk she was leading. 

It's so easy to be discouraged by all of our errors, weaknesses, and potential failures. We strive so hard to give our children the best of everything, and when we can't do that, we automatically assume we must not have what it takes. We fear they will miss out, that they could get something better at a "real school" with better trained teachers or more "friends" around them. But God says it is not with the better that humans provide that He shows up. It will be through your weaknesses that your kids will see Jesus more clearly and experience His provision for themselves. 

He shows up where we cannot. He makes things happen that we have NO power to make happen. He has unlimited strength, resources, and divine love to pour into their lives, but He cannot do it when we stand in the way trying to make it happen in and of ourselves. When we become more okay with our weaknesses being on display, the Holy Spirit steps in to cover that gap and then other people get to see it happen. 

This is what will change the hearts of your children and the people who influence. Seeing the work of God in their daily lives is life-changing and it is not something you can force, but the more you embrace your weaknesses, the more you are okay with failing and going to God for help, the more the Holy Spirit can show up. The more beautiful you make Jesus look

I hope this reminder helps you to find comfort in all the ways you feel like you are not measuring up. God doesn't want you to focus on measuring up. No, this doesn't dismiss working and preparing and does your best, it just means He wants your hearts set on Him and His ability. Know Him, seek to understand Him, and pray to love what He loves. When you are pursuing this, God will meet your needs and importantly, He will become undeniably visible to your children. What a blessing our weakness can be! Let's celebrate that. Not just exulting in our failure, but being excited that when we are weak, He is seen as strong

Let's share together: comment with a time that God's strength showed up in your weakness. We can all help bless each other with the reminders of His love and power!

No comments:

Post a Comment