Weakness brought to light
I have a personal goal that I want to work on this summer: to accept my weaknesses and learn what God has to say about them. The apostle Paul writes “that is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
One of my weaknesses is perfectionism. I have personally known this about myself for a few years, but it didn’t hit me about how evident it was in my life till someone called me out on it. For me perfectionism is defined as, “If it’s not done a certain way then it’s not right”. I am very particular about certain things. However, another friend of mine told me, “it’s a good thing you want certain things right because the other person isn’t looking at the situation the same as you are”. She was able to show me that perfectionism isn’t always a bad thing. In addition, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul writes, “But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Christ is stating he can use our weakness for his glory. I feel as if society portrays that we have to be perfect. That we can’t show our weaknesses because then we will be judged by that weakness. However, in reality, people need others to show their weaknesses. As Christians I feel like it’s better to not be embarrassed by our weakness because then others who are struggling as well can know that they are not alone. Our weaknesses help create who we are in Christ. They show to the world around us that: one, we aren’t perfect people, two that we need others to come alongside of us to help cultivate our weaknesses, and lastly, that Christ created us with these weaknesses for a reason.
In addition to my perfectionism issues I deal with my hearing disability. However, what many people see as a disability (due to the possibility of missing crucial information from others) I see as more of a strength. In fact, each of these statements I have made about how our weaknesses portray who we really are applies to my weaknesses.
In our world we are told that we must have 20/20 vision, pristine hearing, all our limbs, and have no physical or psychological impairments to be considered “normal” or “perfect”, but we are all imperfect people. Many people don’t have 20/20 vision unless they wear contacts or glasses. There are over 4 million people in the United States who live with a hearing disability according to Gallaudet University’s library. Lastly, there are countless number Americans who are faced with some type of physical or psychological impairment, but you know what? It is completely ok. Society may see these imperfections as weaknesses but the Bible says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). All of our “flaws” and weaknesses were created to reflect him. My weaknesses reflect Him.
Secondly, Ecclesiastes 4:10 states, “For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up (NKJV). Our friends and family that surround us are there when we fall. When we do something out of the ordinary they are there to call us out. The same goes with our weaknesses. The people we surround ourselves with should be those that accept us as we are no matter our weaknesses. They are there to help us find ways to use our weaknesses for a greater purpose. For instance, with my perfectionism I am keen on making sure things get done thoroughly. With my hearing I am able to connect with others who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Lastly, God has called us to shine for him. He wants us to shine for him when using our strengths and weaknesses, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our weaknesses can and WILL be used for his glory. My hearing disability is part of my testimony. For the last five years I have been able to tell over 500 high school students my testimony through speaking to my former American Sign Language (ASL) teachers classes. God has used the one thing I hid for four years to bring glory to Him. I get to tell these students that because of my hearing slowly decreasing over time I am where I am today because God was able to help me change my perspective of my hearing. I am a first generation college student who is going to college tuition free and knows a beautiful language that connects me to another culture all because of my “weakness”.
Our weaknesses, imperfections, disabilities and anything else that society states is a problem is actually a blessing in disguise. I believe we should be more like Paul and, “If I must boast. I will boast of the things that show my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 11:30). That is my prayer and stride for myself and for you, my readers.