What’s Your Weakness?
A devotional by Amy Odland
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. –2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
How many of us would be quick to raise our hand if we were asked the question “Who would like to have Christ’s power rest on them?”
How quick would we be to raise those same hands if it was mentioned that in order for that to happen, we need to immediately start boasting about our weaknesses? And to do it gladly? I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t like to run around “gladly” mentioning my shortcomings to everyone I interact with each day. As a matter of fact, I am not happy at all to volunteer that I have a quick temper or am short on patience most of the time. How about you? Do you enjoy confessing you struggle with anger or addiction or are eyeball-deep in pride and self-absorption?
None of us like to look bad in front of others. While some of us find it easy to not care what others think, most of us spend a great deal of time and energy keeping up appearances to those around us. We cover our sins as best we can until we can’t anymore and they sneak out. Our kids definitely do this (as we did before them); they can keep up appearances for the most part while at school or with the grandparents, but as soon as they get home with us, the “real” kid shows up pretty quickly.
We learned fairly early on as parents to use the “Ask the Teacher” trick to point out this discrepancy between public vs. private behavior: when they’ve been misbehaving at home – whether by not doing chores, fighting with siblings, or just generally not listening to me or my husband – we ask them if we should talk to their teacher about getting some advice on what we could do to get them to listen better at home. We ask, “What would your teacher say we should do? Your teacher doesn’t ever say you act like this at school, so maybe we need to get some suggestions from your teacher.”
Once the threat of tarnishing their “perfect” reputation with the teacher is out there, they shape up awfully quick at home.
The fear of what others think of us controls us whether we realize it or not. What we maybe don’t even realize is how it also affects if Jesus Christ’s power can work through us or not. If we’re listening to the opinions of those around us and spending our time worrying about our image more than we are listening to and spending time with God, the power of Christ will not rest on us as it should. If we’re focusing more on outward voices and input, we have less energy and time to focus on the inner influences of the Holy Spirit. We have less of Christ’s power to get us through our day.
So how do we boast more about our weaknesses and allow God’s grace to be sufficient in all we do? Here are a few ideas:
We should admit when we’re wrong.
Apologize when we’ve messed up.
Give the benefit of the doubt more than we do.
Be slow to judge.
Be quick to forgive.
Be able to say “I don’t know.”
Focus on the needs of others.
Find ways to make others feel important or special.
Look for opportunities to help the oppressed or hurting.
Seek counsel for help with addictions or strongholds.
We don’t have to shout our weaknesses from the mountaintops for all to hear. We can share with trusted friends or trained counselors, those we know are safe and helpful. What we definitely aren’t supposed to do if we want Christ to overlook and forgive our weaknesses, is walk around with an attitude of unwillingness to overlook and forgive the weaknesses of others. His power will rest on us in great ways if we humble ourselves, pray, and seek His ways.
Do you have a weakness you feel God calling you to gladly boast about today?
Amy Odland has been serving in church ministry as a volunteer leader for over 16 years, in various worship, prayer and women’s ministry roles.
Her passion for helping women stems from her own struggles and lessons learned in her journey as a Christian since first deciding to follow the Lord in 1994.
Amy’s priorities after her faith include her family — husband Rick, and their four kids — as well as extended family who all live close in proximity and the many friends she’s made over the years.
In addition to a love of teaching and helping her husband with the bookkeeping for their many businesses, Amy has recently expanded her stay-at-home work to include leading author’s book launch teams for publishing companies like Baker, Revell, Barbour, and Lifeway.
She also enjoys teaching new authors about platform building, self-launching, and online marketing.
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