Weighing in on weakness

thThis is not what you hear everyday. It is so refreshing.  -Daniel

It was great to have so many of you responding to my request to weigh in on weakness, so at the conclusion of this week I’m going to let you folks write the Catch. I do have my own comments at the end including a very important insight I don’t want anyone to miss. Also, these are the comments that came to my private email address. There are also currently 19 public comments available at our website that I encourage you to visit. (Scroll down to yesterday’s Catch, “Celebration of weakness,” and find the link to “Comments” at the bottom.)

This concept is often described in the Holistic Healing literature (which embraces the spiritual dimension of healing) as surrender or vulnerability. If you are interested in reading about this “theology” from a variety of perspectives, the literature is out there.  -Christi

(Yes, it is always interesting how truth in scripture is often confirmed by other non-Christian or unbiblical sources. This should not be a threat to believers, but a confirmation. If truth is the way the universe works, then anyone should have access to it. I’m obviously referring to propositional truth, or “truths,” as opposed to the personification of all truth in Jesus.)

I preached on this two Sundays ago. “I, therefore, delight in my weaknesses … for when I am weak, then I am strong”  (2 Corinthians 12:10). -Lynn

(We will come back to that verse in a minute.)

I did not realize I was doing this – waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, forgetting the light that is with me right now in this darkness. I am missing the now waiting for the not yet, and it hampers His work in me and through me. -Julie

This is where we acknowledge our weakness and understand that it is only in our weakness that God’s strength is perfected within us. So it isn’t that we aren’t strong. It’s that it isn’t our strength, it’s His. -Christopher

If the cloud of, “Things are going pretty well” never lifted, I might have never found this place of dependence on a fully dependable yet wildly unpredictable God. This faith is becoming the bedrock of my soul.

This Gospel is for the weak! Spoiler alert: we are all weak. -Brian

It is a celebration of weakness, and I have lived much of my life with pain from illness, yet G-d keeps getting me through my days, and even brings things I so enjoy into my life. -June

So what do you say to those who have had the easy life, seemingly were always Christian, have been blessed over and over, and who go along with the idea that blessings come to those who deserve them? -Mary

(I don’t know what we do with those folks, but be careful, I’m one of them still trying to deconstruct for myself what is wrong about this kind of thinking.)

Some days I actually realize that the only way I get through is with Christ by my side. -Nancy

I’m reminded of my own weaknesses every day. So humbling is it that it ever keeps me from looking on in judgment of others who don’t meet my own expectations/ standards. -Selwyn

One final thought. Some of you think I’m saying Let’s just stay weak so we never have to change. That is not what I am saying.

The strength is imbedded in the weakness. You don’t go from one to the other (otherwise there would be strong Christians over there and weak ones over here – just what we don’t need – a spiritual hierarchy), you experience them both at the same time. That is why Paul says he delights in his weakness, because when he is weak, then he is strong. That’s not a pathway from one to the other. That is the discovery of one IN the other.

Older Christians are not better Christians; they are just more humble Christians, because in getting to their strength, they see more of their weakness, their sin and their need for Christ.

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13 Responses to Weighing in on weakness

  1. Frank says:

    You don’t go from one to the other

    THAT’S ALL I’M SAYIN!!
    (THIS IS THE HARD PART TO GET)

  2. jwfisch says:

    Yes. We have a tendency to be either weak or strong and not both at the same time.

    • Frank says:

      just had an lol moment- ‘when i am”…. by the very nature of the words, we are aspiring to live in a uni-bi polar moment 🙂

  3. Lois Taylor says:

    I read an Our Daily Bread yesterday ( an old one) and it said that young folks are strong physically and us older folks are strong spiritually and God planned it that way. Interesting thought combined with yours……

  4. bobbobs60 says:

    Coincidence?
    I think not.
    Here’s Chuck Swindoll’s Devotion for today (Nov. 08):

    Acknowledging Our Weakness
    by Charles R. Swindoll
    For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. —2 Corinthians 13:4

    Our Father, we all struggle with weakness. We’re reminded almost every day that we don’t have it all together. We need You. We have heartaches and disappointments that haven’t gone away . . . the grief of broken relationships, illnesses, and recent deaths. We invite You to enter in, Lord. Enter into all of that on our behalf. Through Your presence may we find relief and release from that which has bound us, tied us up within. We’re able to take only so much, and sometimes we come to a virtual breaking point. In our times of physical and emotional weakness, we need Your comfort and Your strength.
    We are also stalked by sin. We need Your grace. Sin has taken a terrible toll on the human condition. And though we are well-versed in every possible way of ignoring it or explaining it away, today we come to terms with it. Surely we have failed or fallen in some area just this week, and the ache of that nags us and troubles us—some needless words, some outburst of anger, some lingering resentment, or some caustic response. Lord, thank You for the blood of Christ that keeps on cleansing us from all sins, including these. Forgive us, our Father. Remove from us the enemy’s desire to make us ashamed and to drag us under the load of that failure. May we remember that in Your grace You not only forgive, You wipe the slate clean. Thank You that You know our weakness and love us nevertheless.
    In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

    See also Romans 8:26; 15:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25; Hebrews 4:15.
    Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2,

    Methinks God is trying to “clarify” things for more than just a few folks these days…

  5. Bob Souer says:

    John,

    Here are the thoughts prompted by your posts yesterday and today.

    Back in April of 1988, only a year or so after we met for the first time, and just 9 weeks after I had held my wife Kathy’s hand as she lost her battle with cancer and at the same time won her eternal reward … I was having a conversation with a good friend. He commented to me that in spite of my recent loss, I seemed to be holding up pretty well.

    Knowing how good I am at getting in my own way and trying to be self-sufficient instead of recognizing my utter dependence on God in all things, I said to my friend: “Every day I fight to stay weak.”

    25+ years later, those words continue to represent my heart.

    Your friend,
    Bob Souer

    • jwfisch says:

      Great words. Thank you, Bob. (Hey everybody reading this… Bob is the voice on my Dark Horse Audio book. If you haven’t gotten it, you should just to hear Bob’s voice!)

  6. Pingback: | Tolerating criminality: Is Kindness a Weakness? | | truthaholics

  7. Tom Gilbert says:

    John, I love how your ongoing awakening has mirrored mine. I, too, have found that we are all broken in some way and that God gets to us, in us, and works through us, because we finally have to let go and let Him! Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest, speaker and writer, is fond of saying that we come to God, not by doing it right, but by doing it wrong! Keep up the great sharing and writing.

  8. Marsha Lynn says:

    I have been profoundly affected by a phrase repeated multiple times in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers about bring “broken bread and poured-out wine”. As I have embraced my points of weakness as an avenue for God’s strength, it has brought wonderful results. Not that I wouldn’t like to develop more and better strengths and minimize the weaknesses, but there truly are many times when God uses my weaknesses to open up opportunities for good that could not come as readily through my strengths. http://marshalyn.blogspot.com/2011/12/4-broken-bread-poured-out-wine.html

  9. Pingback: Grow strong in weakness | Stepping Toes

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