Thursday, December 3, 2009

Strongest Man Competition

There is so much about me that wants to be strong but there's a problem.

I have no chance of being in the "world's strongest man" competition or playing any position in college football (or middle school football honestly). I don't spend much time in the weight room. OK, I don't spend any time in the weight room. Big muscles would be nice but they're probably not in my future.

Our world celebrates strength and many times that bleeds over into our spiritual leadership. Most of us feel we are expected to be strong and together. If there were a "strongest person competition" for spiritual people I often feel I should be in it and actually win!

Here's the problem. Most don't see themselves as weak and weakness is a non negotiable for spiritual leadership. We will not be effective in our leadership without weakness. Instead of showing ourselves as having it together we should live our lives and engage in conversation about our vulnerability, weakness and failure. That can be difficult when we feel people expect us to be superman. (or wonderwoman)

Someone may say, "if people see your weakness they may not respect you as a spiritual leader". Isn't the opposite true? Don't we live in a world and a culture that is crying out for leaders who are honest about their struggle? Not just their struggle of 10 years ago but maybe their struggle of 10 minutes ago? And isn't God's grace and power sufficient for our daily weakness and struggle? And isn't it more powerful to model for people the grace and compassion of Christ in the midst of our weakness instead our "having it all together" strength?

Embrace your weakness.

"For when I am weak, then I am strong" Paul

Paul actually says he delights in weakness. You see, when we accept and embrace our weakness that is when we run to Jesus who's strength is limitless.

A.W. Tozer puts it this way.

"If we are going to stand for Jesus, it is good for us to remember how strong he is and how weak we are. I tell you, I have talked to God more than I have talked to anyone else and my conferences with him have been longer than with anyone else."

How do we view ourselves? Are we weak enough to run to Jesus?

May we be people who display the grace and mercy of Jesus by being vulnerable and transparent. In your conversations look for opportunity to share struggle and failure and weakness.

1 Cor 2:3-5
3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

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