by: carole l. haines
One of my favorite lines from any movie is, “Your kids aren’t writers. They’re not exposing all your darkest secrets as Entertainment for the Masses.” (Divine secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood). I used to be so afraid of being exposed, having all my “weakness and frailty” uncovered. I have learned not to worry much about that anymore. Who has the energy for such a “cover up?” I sure don’t. God promises me that His power is perfected in weakness. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12)
I always wondered about this verse. I even said out loud in a Bible Study, “I don’t get this! Who wants to be weak? This makes no sense to me.” I was so perplexed. My whole life I had been taught to “Be strong!” “Toughen-up!” “Don’t be such a cry-baby!” With three sisters, sympathy was not a strong suit in our home. I had grown up thinking weakness was a bad thing, a thing to be covered up, not talked about, hidden. But I just couldn’t do it. God had given me a very sensitive spirit. I was not hardened. I was keenly aware of the suffering around me, and within me. But my culture had taught me to see softness as weakness, and to despise weakness. So, in time, I hid my softness and became hard and, quite frankly, this led to severe depression.
In my quest to get free from this depression, I looked up the original Greek meanings of the key words to this verse. Here it is expanded. “My (God’s) grace, My favor, My good will, my lovingkindness is sufficient, it is enough. Be content with My strength in your weakness, my grace in your flaws. My Power, My Mighty Work, is performed, is accomplished, is fulfilled in your weakness. ”
Paul actually goes on to say that he will rather boast about his weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in him. We are weak people, we are! And there just isn’t enough make-up in the world to cover up our flaws. The sooner we admit that, the sooner we can drop the masks, and throw away the make-up we keep caking on to cover up. Rather, let us choose to admit our weakness, let us trust God with them, and in the midst of them. We will then be able to live more freely, transparently, and lovingly toward others. We won’t expect so much of others, if we admit the weaknesses in ourselves. God is glorified when we humble ourselves before Him, and each other. Jesus came to redeem us, to redeem our weaknesses and transform our lives. Let’s stop hiding, stop pretending and come out from behind our masks. God’s Mighty work is accomplished when we admit we are weak and turn to Him for strength. This way we don’t have to fear our weaknesses will be exposes as “entertainment for the masses.” We choose to expose them ourselves.