There’s a passage in Scripture that I’ve loved and questioned at the same time.
It’s a verse we use a lot in ministry. That verse is 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:
“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I’ve always wondered—do I intentionally pursue weakness so that Christ’s power may be displayed?
Should I ignore self-improvement because it will show the glory of Christ more?
Does God have issues with talent?
Because I’ve encountered a lot of talented people and seen the glory of Christ shine through their gift. I’ve also seen a lot of talented people who just seem to magnify their own gifting.
What Is Strength and What Is Weakness?
What’s the balance here? What is weakness we can improve and what is weakness that God uses?
As I’ve studied the Scriptures, here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: God is committed to the spread of His own glory. And He is the only being who can rightfully be this way. Because He is God incomprehensible, God immutable, God indescribable. He. Is. God.
No matter who you are, what you’ve done or what touches your life, God can use it for something great.
If there’s one thing I want you to walk away with today, it is this:
Our calling in life is to leverage our strengths and leverage our weaknesses for the display of Christ’s glory in the earth. Improve what is inside your control … entrust to God what is not.
Here’s what I mean:
- If you’re a singer, this verse doesn’t mean you should sing off-key so Christ will be magnified. Work hard on improving your vocals.
- If you’re a musician, this verse doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare so that Christ will be magnified. Hone your craft, know your instrument, and know the songs inside and out.
- If you speak or preach, don’t just wing it in hopes that God will pick up the pieces of your unpreparedness.
In other words, laziness and carelessness are not values in the kingdom of God.
The apostle Paul (whom this verse is referring to) was one of the most gifted, educated, talented people to ever walk the face of the earth.
When he “boasted” of His weakness, he wasn’t referring to things he could work on. He was referring to circumstances outside of His control.
A Story From My Life
Let me give you a personal example. There are limits to my singing ability. I work on my vocal strength, pitch and range, for sure. But there is a limit to where I can go. I simply can’t do what BJ Putnam or Israel Houghton does. That doesn’t mean I should give up because I’m not as good as someone else.
That means I submit my weakness to Christ and watch Him work. Time and time again, he takes my humble offering and outshines it with His own glory. I have no place to boast, which I love.
Sure, I wish I had a bigger voice. I would be so much more effective, right? Well, God knows what He is doing and I trust the good and perfect gift He’s entrusted to me. It’s my job to make the most of it.