March 21

Awareness of Our Weakness
1 Corinthians 11:28-31 
"Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying."
Among historians, Abraham Lincoln was one of the most popular presidents of all time. He was actually ranked first by 91 presidential experts. Most people already know Lincoln's history, including the Emancipation Proclamation, which reshaped the cause of the Civil War, and the Gettysburg address in which he invoked the Declaration of Independence by saying "government of the people, by the people, for the people."  However, behind all those political accomplishments that he had achieved, his childhood trauma at the hands of his father, Thomas Lincoln, is virtually unknown. His father was uneducated and very harsh with Abraham. They did not have an intimate father/son relationship. So deep was the rift between the two that when his father passed, Abraham didn't even go to his funeral and refused to return to his father's home.
However, Abraham was well aware of the fact that his dysfunctional relationship with his father was his weakness and that it would have a negative influence on his personality and political career.
Abraham Lincoln once said in the President's Annual Message to Congress, which later became the State of the Union Address:
"All human beings have their weaknesses, but not all of us realize them, come to grips with them, or offset their negative impact. As a group whose primary endeavor is interacting with other people, leaders must accomplish the paradoxical task of managing their darker sides."
A great leader is not without weaknesses, but is well aware of them, and has not allowed them to have a negative impact on his or her life.  
Paul's strength is his weakness. It can be rephrased as "the awareness of his strength is his strength." We may not be able to conclusively determine the depth of his self-reflection and analysis of his statement, but we do know that he is acutely aware of his personal shortcomings and inner scars. He thus intentionally turns them into the humble motive to suppress his sinful nature and to empty himself of all his secular ideas and thoughts which could prevent him from coming to the Lord.
Paul thus joyfully pronounces "I will boast of my weaknesses." Boasting is our willingness to admit our weaknesses and surrender them to our Savior and allow Him to work through them.  When we are aware of our weakness and allow the Lord to take over in those areas of our lives we can begin to redirect our daily steps toward intimacy with God in our relationship with Him.
Allow the God of all power to begin to work through your weaknesses and you will be amazed at how much stronger you will be!

These devotions were written by Jay on every Wednesday.  You can read his weekly devotion in the weekly E-newsletter.  



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