“I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one-I am talking like a madman-with far greater labors, far greater imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. In toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:16-31 ESV
Paul was mad at the false teachers for lying to the Corinthians. He wasn’t trying to talk smooth and smarter than them. Instead, he was quick to stay humble and admit that he wasn’t a skilled speaker (2 Cor. 11:6). He didn’t care if he looked like a fool. He wanted them to know what he had suffered for Jesus so they would believe him. I think of times I have felt misunderstood. What is my goal? To show that I am right, or to win people to Jesus?
So many times I believe the lie that says that my weakness disqualifies me. But, God has been putting me in situations where I have to rely on his strength. Maybe, because he knows that I’d want to do it on my own. He knows how stubborn I am. It’s his gracious way of gently leading me back to him. Even if it doesn’t always feel good at the time. Because, in those times when I have surrendered to him I have most seen his power at work in my life. I hear him speaking to me and am so grateful for his constant care.
“Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart…Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalms 73:18-28 ESV
Dear Father, I want to be like Paul and boast in my weakness. Knowing that my strength comes from you. Give me the courage to live this out. Amen.