Boasting in My Weaknesses???

wreckI hate my brokenness.

I want it to end.

It’s been a tough week at work. The kind that leaves you feeling like a rusting wreck in the desert. Ever found yourself dreading going to work and finding out what little mistake is coming back to bite you this day? You’re breathing, so yes.

I know my weaknesses well. We’re old acquaintances. Not friends, though. I want them out of my life.

Tonight, though, I have to deal with the fact that they’re not conquered yet, that tomorrow hasn’t come yet, that the next opportunity to win hasn’t come yet. I have to deal with the shame and inadequacy that swarm toward this vulnerable chump like flies toward a carcass.

I’m reminded of a familiar saying.

God does not call the qualified; he qualifies the called.

But…there’s a but in my heart.

Oh, I know God uses broken people. He not only uses them, he insists on it. He does this, ironically, to ensure he receives the glory. If only the visibly whole were to succeed, they could boast. They could say, “I’m pulling it off. I’m doing good. I’m the sort of person God can use.” People watching them would assume that the key lies in competence, training, or intrinsic gifts rather than God. Indeed, that dynamic is already everywhere in our society. The narcissists and the naturals dominate, trampling the hearts of others. David had no shortage of laments for this in the Psalms; God assured him their position was only temporary.

For his own kingdom, God uses the deeply broken.

But…something in my heart doesn’t want that.

“NO!!!” it cries, pierced in the moment by embarrassment. “I don’t want my brokenness used, or hijacked, tolerated, indulged, or affirmed in any way. I want it gone! I want it overcome!”

But…why?

Because of my embarrassment?

I’m supposed to be relying on God for my competence anyway. I’m supposed to be taking my shame to him. Am I instead looking to personal perfection to absolve and swallow up my shame?

Am I striving for perfection in order to feel better about myself, or to glorify God?

Maybe that’s why I’m not managing any of those three things.

Another query: am I blocking God from using my brokenness? I notice a lie streaking through my mind when I fail, something like this: “God can’t possibly use this mess. I have to get it right first.”

That’s a lie. One to be vaporized horribly.

So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

That’s a verse I’ve long struggled to understand. Now, as I face some lingering weaknesses head-on, I’m starting to get it. Paul’s humility is clearly foremost among God’s priorities. Paul eventually learns that if he must struggle with a thorn, it is to be celebrated, not bemoaned, for he knows God will show up in his weakness.

Conversely, to allow our flaws to pull us away from God and leave us disqualified…that’s not what he wants. It may seem like a form of holiness, but it is, insanely enough, mere pride. Defining ourselves by our own system. Arrogance concealed within a false humility.

It’s quite a revolution in today’s world to appreciate one’s own brokenness. Not to indulge and worship it as a means of defiance, but simply to appreciate it. All the commercials holler at us about getting better (using their product); the high school and college cliques decide whether we’re in or out; hiring managers are drawn to the strong.

Real humility is letting God alone be the decider of our competence.

Real strength is letting God have our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

So I will go to work tomorrow morning…strong. Of all things. Not waiting to “get it right” to be strong, but strong now. By the will and arrangement of God.

57 thoughts on “Boasting in My Weaknesses???

  1. I think the battle of confronting our weaknesses is when we strive for perfection by our own might and power, but true perfection can only come through Christ who redeems us through His love and not by the laws of men. Our standards of perfection cannot match the grace of God that redeems us from our weaknesses and that is why we are able to boast in our weaknesses in the first place because it is only through Christ that we become whole and strong again. Great post Brandon.

    Blessings,
    Sherline. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is one great battle, and I’m still improving there, too. The other is responding to the failures in a way that glorifies God, and that’s the focus of my post – to let him use me anyway, to counter shame with the cross, instead of demanding of myself that I be perfect before feeling better.

      Like

  2. Great post. Why is it so hard for us to allow God to use us, e to n at our lowest points? He knows more about us than we do. Thanks for your words😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Brandon, I really enjoyed this. We are being controlled by a narcissist and actually a family member by that… It is so hard and it seems like my husband just cannot get a job anywhere else at the moment. BUT…. I believe at the right time God will open a door that no man can close. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! My girls am Bible group and I were just discussing this am how we become more intentional about not letting work dictate our emotions or quantify our self worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really well said.

    I’m often left trying to advocate in favor of weakness. That’s a tough sell these days, everyone wants to be strong. Weakness is almost seen as a sin,in fact sometimes we refer to our own sins,as “weaknesses,” thorns. But Paul says, “for my power is made perfect in weakness….For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

    Often what really makes us powerful, strong, is when we surrender all to the Lord. So weakness,vulnerability, actually become strength as He moves in on our behalf. Some of the most powerful moments in my life have actually come from just collapsing in hysterics at the foot of a King. I highly recommend it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “It may seem like a form of holiness, but it is, insanely enough, mere pride. Defining ourselves by our own system. Arrogance concealed within a false humility.” I read that, Brandon, and thought AMEN! Pride, the nemesis that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, is alive and well today, in each of us, as we try to “do” things for Christ instead of taking our hands off the wheel and letting Him work through us. When we are weak, we are strong because it is not our strength but His, and there is nothing stronger than that! Blessings to you today and thanks for the great writing and for the thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This week was hard work week for me too. It ended well with a little remorse on the perpetrators part. It took all my strength to grant the grace to them God gave me- undeserved. But in the end I did grant them Grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post, oh this post is something I needed to hear! . “Real humility is letting God alone be the decider of our competence. Real strength is letting God have our weaknesses as well as our strengths.” Wonderful post!! God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this so much! Not to indulge brokenness, but also not to strive for perfection. We get lost living on those polar opposite ends of the spectrum. How beautiful that Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly, but that He also uses our broken places to strengthen us. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m late to the party on this one, so now I’d love an update on how your Friday went, but have a great weekend. There was just too much to copy, paste, and comment on here, I’m just gonna repost this. Totally right on and I need it as we all do!! I lift my tea cup to my broken brother,….from: your broken (smiling) sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can totally relate to this posting with work and God’s plan and purpose for me as I struggle to overcome the remaining areas of brokenness. I also cry out “NO… I want it gone! I want it overcome!” God knows our hearts and desire to overcome and fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives. We just have to keep persevering. Thank you for sharing this awesome message. God bless you, Brandon!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Boasting in My Weaknesses??? by Brandon Adam | The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s