Weakness on display

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I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message. (2 Corinthians 12:6)

Upon further review, it has come to my attention that the interpretation of this statement in 2 Corinthians 12:6 I made yesterday may have led to some unintended conclusions. I want to be sure that is not the case. “I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,” is what he wrote, and I took that to mean that Paul’s life backs up what He says. Well that’s true, but what Paul actually says here is that he should not be credited beyond what we can see or hear from him.  He knows he is weak and doesn’t want to be worshipped or thought of as larger-than-life; worship should turn only towards Christ, who is larger than all of our lives. This is not just the general principle of walking the talk — living what you preach. That can easily lead to legalism, deception and a show of spiritual superiority.

He’s not saying, “Follow what I do here because I’ve got it all together.” He’s saying quite the opposite. “Walk alongside me and see why I need Jesus so much every moment of every day.” The context here is Paul’s weaknesses, not his strengths. So that, in turn, is what people need to see when they are walking alongside us. It’s completely contrary to the way we naturally think, especially when it comes to Christian leadership. Follow my example. True. But what do you see when you do that? You see someone boasting in their weaknesses. You see someone’s weaknesses as the key to their power, which is gained only through God. That is certainly what Paul is showing us here.

We make a big deal here at the Catch about walking alongside others as the key to our ministry. So what does that mean? What does someone see? It is a matter of someone walking alongside any one of us within this body called the Catch, and whether that person can see why we need the living Lord Jesus Christ in our life. That’s the mystery. By walking alongside any one of us, our weaknesses are on display, so that the power of the Lord might be known in our lives.

In more ways than one, my writing is my walking alongside you. This is why I try to reveal as much as I can about my own struggles, hardships and calamities so we can connect through our own humanity yet see the Lord working through us all.

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3 Responses to Weakness on display

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    The trick is to not be so self-conscience. People will see God’s goodness in us when we didn’t think they were looking. And yes, this happens in spite of our weaknesses. I once received a birthday message from a co-worker named Anthony who said, “Happy Birthday to one of the most genuine, hardworking, easy-going people I have ever met”. I had no idea he saw those things in me. I was just trying to do my thing, living for God, letting my light shine etc. in spite of my own failings an insecurities.

    He passed away in July after we worked together 8 years. I spoke at his services. I told of things I saw in him that maybe he never knew I did either. I was nervous and stumbled a couple of times since I’m not used to holding a mic and talking to a large group of people. That didn’t matter. Many people said they loved my speech, that it was perfect and I figure that’s because they saw him the same way I did. I knew about all his weaknesses too but it’s all about seeing God’s goodness in someone.

    By the way, on September 4th, Anthony’s step-mom died of cancer. I worked with her too. It was very sudden. She wasn’t diagnosed until it was stage 4 and a week later she was gone. This has doubled the grief shared by Anthony’s father, wife, 2 young sons, and little brother as well as many other family members. I know this isn’t being put on your prayer request page but it would be good if your prayer warriors remember this family. The last name is Vallejo.

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Another great read!

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