READ:  2 Corinthians 12: 7-10



“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, …” Eph. 6: 7-8, (NIV)



We are frequently exhorted to count our blessings and to use our talents for His glory.  Further, we are strongly reminded that we were not saved just for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up His church (Eph. 4:12).  However, our fear of failure or sense of embarrassment frequently acts as barriers to our serving Him and often we actively try to hide these weaknesses.  We tend to forget that many great heroes of our faith expressed reluctance in serving: Moses (Exodus 3: 10ff); Jeremiah (Jer. 1: 6-8); Timothy (I Tim. 4: 12-16); and even the Apostle Paul felt that if “the thorn in his flesh” were removed, he would be more effective (2 Cor. 12: 7-10).  So surely it must be permissible for us to express doubt about our ability to successfully do certain tasks.


          Further, if we believe God is the source of our gifts and likewise our talents, might our “weaknesses” also be gifts?  In other words, do our “weaknesses” really serve a purpose in our lives?  Three major purposes seem to readily emerge:  1) they “force” us to recognize that we are not really in control and thereby directs our attention back to a Higher Power.  2) The old saw, “We can become so heavenly inclined that we become no earthly good” frequently proves to be true, especially in regard to our witnessing.  Do we unintentionally transmit the image that we are “above the fray” or do we communicate, that we too, are sinners in need of grace?  Which image might be more effective in allowing people to see God at work within us and that we are not a finished product but rather a work in progress?  3) Coping with our “weaknesses” provides opportunities to grow and become more the people that God intended us to be.  So maybe we should recognize our individual weaknesses as also being gifts and ask Him to help us use these weaknesses to serve a purpose in our spiritual growth as well as assisting the growth of others.