The Apostle Paul’s reflections on weakness have always frustrated me. The idea that weakness leads to strength is not one of those biblical messages that sits wellin a self-made culture. Weak people get trampled on, abused and neglected.
Aren’t the strong supposed to help the weak? I want to be a helper not a helpee. Doesn’t the world need a few more heroes? People who stand up for what is right and defend the weak. We need folks who are willing to step up. People who want to make a difference. After all, the call of Jesus is to be salt and light in an increasingly tasteless and dark world.
The desire to be Superman is pretty powerful.
In my purest moments I believe it is possible to use strength to make the world a better place. I think that reality is somewhat different; more often than not “strength” and “bully” seem to go hand in hand. Power and strength have a strange ability to corrupt. The temptation to use strength for selfish purposes is pretty strong.
Does Paul know something we don’t?
Could it be that it is weakness that brings people together and strength is what divides? Admitting and owning my flaws humanizes who I am and who we are as people. Could it be that weakness leads to freedom? Does owning my weakness create a space for me to be authentically me? It allows me to be honest about who I am and who I am not.
This is the paradox: weakness in its most honest form is actually strength. When I own my flaws it takes power away from those who desire to use my flaws against me.
Can you imagine a church full of people who fully own who they are and who they are not?