That is my Weakness
Most Christians when expressing their failure to obey or their inadequacies toward righteousness, especially when confronted with a particular sin, often remark ‘that’s my weakness’. They’re either not describing their situation accurately or are trying to express their inability to override a particular sin and how they succumb to areas of temptation frequently. If the latter is the case, the phrase is then seen as an approval or an allowance for disobedience and indeed is a false hope of comfort. The phrase ‘that’s my weakness’ is a false diagnosis and is found short of the promises of God, leaving no room for growth or even change. Has the one who hides behind this phrase fully grasped the meaning of the passage, ‘I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me’? (Philippians 4:13).
When one expresses ‘that’s my weakness’ when it comes to Christian living, they’re generally refering to an area of sin that still remains to be a struggle. Much like what kryptonite is to superman. They are strong, victorious and complete in all areas except one. Although they are sincere and genuinely devoted, they have a misconceived idea that they will always struggle with that particular sin – as though all other sins have been abolished and there remains now only one that needs dealing with. Is Christ’s work partial or half complete? Has He failed us by only restoring the part not the whole? What does it actually mean when Christians say, ‘that’s my weakness…leave me alone…God is working with me?’
It’s true, the Bible encourages the weak, but by what definition do we understand such-weakness? The scriptures consistently describe man’s need for God, and often refers to human frailty and the existence of numerous infirmities in the flesh as the very reason we need Him. Not necessarily only salvation from sin, but the strength to be gained while passing through this world in this body. References are made about the weakness of man, related to the fall and all its ailments such as disease and sickness causing suffering and pain. We are encouraged to persevere while exhausted and drained, we drag about a dead body, prone to hunger, thirst and tiredness. However, we thank God for such weakness as it allows us to put our trust in Him. Hence why Paul says, “I would rather boast in my weakness.” Is he stating that he will boast about his bondage to sin? Of course not. Does Paul want us to imagine him saying things like, “praise God I’m selfish but Jesus isn’t, therefore I glory in Jesus?” Or do we imagine Paul suggesting, that he’s a lustful man, and although he’s lustful he praises God for it because it keeps him humble? This is far from the truth. Is he boasting regarding a matter pertaining to sin, or proud about a particular sin in his life? It cannot be, for he speaks to the sinning Corinthians, in this manner, “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:2). Rather, his boasting is of a different spirit, where he says, “If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities” (2 Corinthians 11:30).
I thank God I lack in memory, I thank God I’m not fast at running or physically strong. I give glory to Jesus, I am not eloquent enough to persuade or convince. For in these weaknesses God makes His grace and power known. So I would rather boast in my weakness and reveal the awesome glory of God through such things. In this and only in this, is God glorified. When man is able to endure and surpass the infirmities of being human, and claim victory in nothing else but Christ alone, then he can truly glory in Jesus and the power of the cross in his own life.
There are many examples where God takes the weakness of a man, reveals His strength and glorifies Himself through him. Moses could not speak, yet became the voice of God and Gods people. Jeremiah was but a youth, yet became one of the greatest prophets among men. And so the world then can point to such men as these and say, there has to be a God, for there’s no way that such a weak man can do such things!
The fundamental truth, ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ was uttered by Christ in the garden of Gethsemane in season of wearisome, tiredness and sleeplessness. Yet, this was not reference toward sin or transgression, rather the precursor and admonition to be on guard. In fact, in the occasion of sin, the flesh is rather strong, not weak, and on the contrary, it is very much alive, displaying strength not weakness. The disciples on the other hand, were not necessarily sinning as much they were rather manifesting human frailty and the weakness of the body that grows tired and weary. And although their heart was to be with Christ, their bodies let them down. So we learn that, our body is weak and we need to submit our members to the Spirit that’s always willing. For sin is at the door and temptation awaits us. But when we yield our weak bodies to the Spirit we are able to resist the evil one in that day of trial.
Sure, we may display various degrees of strength against diverse temptations, yet this is not to say we are weak in battle. One may be prone toward one particular area of sin over the other. One may feel the enticing power of one temptation greater and stronger than another, possibly due to environment, conditioning or particular upbringing. However, this is no means a reason to yield to such sin because it’s your so called ‘Achilles heal’. Nor is it an excuse to fail, because it’s drawing power is greater than other sins. Rather Paul says, where sin abounds grace much more. The power of God is able to deliver to the uttermost. The louder the temptation, the greater the power given. Still, some Christians seem to accept that there is still room for unconquered sin (commonly called weakness) in the believer. Yet, it’s surprising how can it be, especially in the one who is called MORE than a conquerer.
Why Christians still struggle in sin and claim ‘weakness’ in a certain area like anger or impatience is simply because they have not given ALL of themselves over to Jesus, and in turn made ALL of Jesus their everything. Some may give up their smoking, their drinking, their wild living, yet still hold on to lust, pride or selfishness. Not all their members have been crucified. They offer their hands but not their feet. They offer their head but not their heart. The legend of Achilles’ heal tells us that it was the exposed body part that was the most vulnerable and prone toward attack. We learn that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Romans 6:16). Can a Christian attempt to take on the full armour of God and yet still be found vulnerable to defeat. No, not unless they willingly expose themselves to sin and temptation.
Finally, let us prayerfully consider and meditate on the following scripture, (Joel 3:10) it does not say, “let the weak say I am weak” but rather “let the weak say I am STRONG!”