The Times When It's OK To Acknowledge Your Weakness

Little children are taught that they're supposed to be strong. We feed them well so they'll grow up big and strong. We take them outside to play so they'll get that fresh air and strengthen their muscles running around in the sunshine.

Women are taught that they're supposed to be strong. Don't rely on your parents or on a man. Be able to stand on your own two feet. Don't let anyone take advantage of you, and don't let anyone make you into their doormat. Be able to multitask, care for everyone around you and still have a smile on your face.

Men are taught that they're supposed to be strong. Bring home bacon. Provide for your family. Don't show anyone your tears or your fears. Do everything that's asked of you without question, without hesitation and without breaking down.

If we've heard one of these phrases over the years, we've heard a dozen of them. No, they might not be said out loud, but the world expects great and wonderful things from us. Technology allows us to do more. An increase in pay means we can buy more. A day off from work means we can cram more into our schedule to prove we are still busy and capable.

And that's why the words "burn out," "exhaustion" and "complete psychotic breakdown" are even in our vernacular. We've been convinced - and convinced ourselves - that we have to be strong all the time. Other people can handle the pressure, so why can't we? So we push and push until we're running on less than fumes, if that's humanly possible.

We're not designed physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually to be that strong. God did not create you with the ability to be strong all the time. The proof is this: try to simply speak coherently after a full of day work, taking care of your family, cleaning your house, working on a project for church and trying to plan your activities for the next day. It's just not possible.

And now I'll tell you why it's not possible, and you're probably not going to like the answer.

You're just not that strong.

Did your hackles go up a little when you read that? Did you get a little defensive and start to think about how you could argue just how strong you really are? All the things you can do in one day? The number of crises you've survived? Not to mention the fires you put out on your job or in your home every single day?

Yes, you're strong - but you're not that strong. And I'll be glad to tell you why.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

It's not about you. It's not about me. It's not about how much I can bench press at the gym or how many grocery bags I can bring in from the car in one trip. It's not about being able to keep your head in an emergency or withstand the hurtful comments you hear about third-hand.

It's not about bringing home bacon, overcoming your fears or even planning your family's schedule down to the last detail. It's not about you. It's not about your strength.

It's about willingly admitting that your strength doesn't come from you. Any strength that you have comes from God alone. He has a reserve of the exact kind of strength you need for today, and He delights in giving it to you. That little bit of strength you have inside you runs out quickly, but God's never does. You'll never find yourself down for the count or panting on the uphill climb if you're tapped in to His never-ending supply of grace.

It's perfectly acceptable to admit your weaknesses when you're giving the Lord all the glory and honor for His gift of strength. You might not dream of letting someone else know about your weaknesses because that might make them look down on you. "She can't even handle that little situation? Poor girl." What a bashing our ego would take then. We think we'll never get asked to anything again because we're viewed as not capable, not strong, not enough.

But it's a completely different story when you admit your weakness and glorify God when He overcomes it for you. His grace is sufficient - not just enough, not almost all you need, but grace when you need it and exactly what you need it for. If you don't admit how much you need Him on a day-by-day or even minute-by-minute basis, the world will never see the perfection of His strength and grace through your life.

When Paul wrote these words, he was openly admitting that he didn't have the strength he needed to do everything God asked of him, but he was far from ashamed. What he was saying was that he was more than willing to go through a difficult situation and rely on the strength of the Lord Himself to help him thrive and be victorious in it all. That was the testimony that he wanted, one that would shine the spotlight on God alone and not himself.

You will have the opportunity today to admit that your heart is willing but your flesh is weak. You can calmly admit that you don't have it all together and you're not able to everything everyone is asking you to do. They're not words of defeat but words of power. And then you can slip in these life-changing words:

I'm just not that strong, but my God's grace is sufficient for whatever He asks of me.

With this simple phrase, you can gladly face the day knowing that God will give you the strength you need, He will be glorified in your life and the power of Christ Jesus Himself will rest upon you. You don't have any of those things when you're working under your own power.

As we begin this new week, I pray that you and I will take ourselves and our over-sized egos out of the equation and take full advantage of the reserve of strength God has for us. He will give us grace sufficient for the moment and do mighty things through us that we never would have dreamed possible on our own.

So acknowledge your weakness. It's ok. God's grace is sufficient.


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