Building Up and Breaking Down
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]here is beautiful symmetry in the principle that what is true for our bodies is also true for our mind and spirit. To grow stronger and to build up physically, we have to break down our muscles by working out. We do this in lifting heavier weights and going for longer distances at higher speeds. By submitting our bodies to stress, we strengthen our muscles. Building our mind, character, gifts and talents is no different. However, we often treat that process as such. Let me liken it to how we try and grow our physical strength. Have you ever tried to get stronger by focusing solely on your weaker muscles? It really would be a discouraging process. Think of it like this: you work out your ears, nose, fingers and toes expecting to be fit overall. Rather, focusing on the strongest muscles will cause your weaker muscles to improve as you gradually increase complexity to movement.
Now lets look at this beyond just growing in strength physically to growing in our character. How many of us expect to become better by focusing solely on growing our weaknesses? It’s no wonder that so many people are frustrated with their current growth and circumstances. You cannot focus on what you don’t like about your job and expect it to get better. You cannot focus on what is broken with your budget while expecting it to correct itself. See what I’m getting at?
With the overabundance of information we have access to, we have to learn to prioritize what we take in and then apply it. How? My simple solution is this. Uncover and leverage your strengths. Resource your weaknesses to others who naturally have that strength. You will see that as you find your sweet spot in your strengths, the weaknesses in your life seem to diminish. It’s true. In order to thrive, you must relinquish control of your weaknesses while doing your part in trusting and knowing what God promised in 2 Cor 12:9.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.[/mk_blockquote]
We can actually be proud of where we fall short God’s power rests on you in your weakness. You then know it is not in your own strength, but by the Lord’s grace and favor that you advance and grow.
I don’t want to diminish the internal battle that it takes to embrace this truth. It is not an easy thing to boast in our weaknesses. In the world we live in, everything around us tells us not to. We have cultural pressure to present ourselves as though we have “it” together. In the process, we set a standard for ourselves that is impossible to keep. This standard is unrelatable and starves us of true connection. Rather, when we “boast in weakness”, we become vulnerable enough to form true connections. People often see vulnerability as weakness or that it makes you a victim, which is even further from the truth. In fact, boasting is owning your flaws, submitting them to God and trusting in His faithfulness to fill them with His love and grace.
When you boast in your weaknesses, you lean on the power of God and those small, weaker muscles are fortified by the strongest substance there is. It was through no work of your own, but through the work of The One who made you. My challenge to you is to check your perspective on your own points of weakness. Do they taunt you? Are they a priority of your thoughts and actions? Are they nagging? Or, are they an area where you find freedom because they are no longer your responsibility but the responsibility of the King of Kings?
What do you find most challenging about boasting in your weaknesses?