When I attend conferences everybody who takes part seems so impressive. I am thinking here particularly of those who ask questions or make contributions from the floor. They all seem articulate and well-spoken. And I am left thinking if I participated I could not be so impressive.
And then I got thinking about the principle of weakness. The Christian faith finds its’ glory in weakness. It is said of our Saviour For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power (2 Cor. 13.4a). And it is the observation of Paul that his experience with the thorn in the flesh made him glory in weakness and not strength. So we read these words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It is interesting that these observations concerning our Lord and Paul occur in 2 Corinthians. It is in 2 Corinthians that Paul deals with the threat of the ‘super apostles’. These were men who gloried in being impressive and scorned Paul who was viewed as being oh, so unimpressive. Read 2 Corinthians 10-11 and see something of Paul seeking to show the Corinthian Christians something of what he and “the super-apostles were like”
Which leaves me thinking why am I so intimidated by these oh so impressive participants at these conferences? And why not Philip think about putting your hand up and making a comment and asking a question. Oh, I may go red in the face, I may stumble out my words, I may be told that it was a stupid question / observation, But God delights to use weakness and so does it matter what they think? Not that I want to be a purposely weak individual in order to make some nauseating show of false humility.
But perhaps I should break a habit of a lifetime in my dotage and speak up a bit more. You never, know Philip, it may also encourage some other weak individual to benefit others through speaking up in and through their weakness.