Friday, August 12, 2011

Boasting in Weakness



I suck at math. I still count on my fingers and rely heavily on calculators. These math skills are quite necessary for my job--i.e. budgets and knowing how many students made it on the bus--so I've gotta triple-check any numbers I crunch.

I am horrible at basketball. I have incredible jumping skills for a skinny 6-foot-tall dude--I can grab the rim. But even working at church that has its own basketball court hasn't improved my b-ball skills much. Don't ask me to play for your team; I'm best as the mascot.

I can't swim. Though I can flail about in the water fairly well. I'd probably drown if I fell out of a boat and people didn't rescue me immediately.

I'm scared of heights. I start shaking and getting light-headed as I approach the edge of a tall building or climb a big ladder. I can't help it; the feeling is almost overwhelming.

I'm allergic to food. Not all food, per se. But enough that it makes it nearly impossible for me to eat all the unhealthy food normal Americans consume. Weird stuff too, like celery, carrots, and mustard. So if I don't accept your offer to eat out, it's not because I don't like you; it's because I can't eat there, wherever "there" is.

I'm scared of public speaking. One of my most embarrassing moments involves giving a terrible report in front of my sophomore english class. So I find it ironic that God would give me a spiritual gift of teaching and call me to pastoral ministry.

I still sin. All the time. Maybe not in big extravagant outward ways, but in quietly subtle ways. I've been a Christian for over 20 years, and I still struggle with temptation and flesh-driven actions. Guess I'm still in need of sanctification.

On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 


Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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. (2 Corinthians 12:5-10)


In a culture where we boast about our own achievements and strengths, it's an exercise in humility to confess our weaknesses and boast in the strength of Christ.

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