by Niki Turner
I hate weakness. Especially (maybe exclusively) in myself. I can excuse weakness in others, but when it comes to my own I balk. I feel guilty. I repent. I ask God to forgive me for being weak. I've been known to feel guilty for being sick, for being shy, for being afraid to ride an amusement park ride. I can assure you, guilt and condemnation are not a cure for weakness.
What is the difference between a sin, from which we should repent (turn away from) and a weakness? To sin is to miss the mark, to err, to "flub up." A weakness is a lack of strength. We can't deal with sin the same way we deal with weakness. Sin is to be confessed to God, and He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us. (1 John 1:9)
Weakness, however, requires surrender, and surrender involves relinquishing responsibility. Our tendency is to hide our weaknesses and make excuses for them. God asks us to do the opposite: release our weaknesses to Him. It seems contrary to common sense to expose our weaknesses to God, but the moment we let go of them God has access to that area of our lives and we become candidates for His grace. God's grace (His unlimited, unmerited power) can override our weakness with His strength.
"...'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."The Lord doesn't intend for us to wallow in weakness and make excuses for ourselves. Neither does He want us to live in guilt and fear and shame because we have weaknesses. Instead, He wants us to surrender those weaknesses to Him, and let His strength replace them. Too often, we let our weaknesses hinder us from running forward in faith and obedience. God wants us to drop those weaknesses at His throne and take up His daily load of grace.
2 Cor 12:9-10 (from New International Version)
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Our "I can't" becomes "I can."
Heb 4:16 NKJV
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Phil 4:13 NIVI'm working on it. Surrendering is hard. But I believe it will produce greater freedom in Christ.
I'm curious. How do you deal with weakness?
Niki Turner writes romantic fiction, Christian non-fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. Her first completed manuscript won second place in the 2009 Touched By Love contest for contemporary category romance.
Colorado natives, Niki and her husband of 20+ years have four children (three at home) and are soon-to-be grandparents. In 1998 they planted a church in rural northwestern Colorado. Currently, they share their home with three teenage boys, two black Lab mutts, and Niki’s absurdly spoiled Westie, Archie.
Niki can be found at In Truer Ink, her personal blog and website, here at Inkwell Inspirations, and at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks.
White flag photo:
|photo by wokka||via PhotoRee|