Fear of Weakness
God uses our weaknesses for his glory.
BY NIGEL BARHAM
Last night when I was hanging out with friends, someone suggested we each share one of our fears. When it came around to me, I couldn’t think of anything I was willing to share. The second question was, If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be? (In other words, What is one of your weaknesses?) Again, my answer was pathetic.
I look back now and realize that my “unresponses” answered both questions perfectly. That is, one of my weaknesses is to fear how people will respond if I make myself vulnerable.
When I consider James 5:16 (“confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed”), it’s a shame that I passed up such a good opportunity. Indeed, the Holy Spirit has been working overtime recently to show me how wracked with weaknesses I really am. Arrogance and everything surrounding that. Seeking great things for myself. A too-frequent lack of wisdom and restraint. A severe shortage of grace for others. Over-sensitivity to others’ criticism (which is often close to the truth, if not right on). The list goes on.
But as if my weaknesses (i.e., sin, shortcomings, etc) aren’t enough, as I think about it, I am overwhelmed even with my weakness as a confessor. That is:
-I like to compare myself to others and think and hope I’m not that bad (or when I’m extra-arrogant, still better)
-I’m willing to confess if I can “balance” it with a strength (e.g., I have trouble getting up early, but I have a lot of self-discipline after that)
-I am quicker to confess sins that I [think I] have improved on because “I’m better now”
-Sometimes I want to confess primarily because it’ll make me feel better (not because I offended God or another person)
-I prefer to confess when the other person will confess back
-I like to confess if it will make me look humble
Ouch. Talk about hypocrisy.
Lord, thank you for your mercy. And help me to realize more and more that the fact you call me a saint (!) is thanks to nothing but your grace.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
“Slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness” – Psalm 103:8