I just spent a weekend up at Muskoka Baptist Camp. Our apartment (minus one, plus one) took off for a few days to just get away from this dreaded city and enjoy some rest. It was a great time. While we were up there we saw the youth pastor from Temple Baptist church in Sarnia (small world ehh), Aaron. We were just having random conversation when we started talking about Junior Highs and how funny they were.
Nathan, in all his drama and humour, pointed out that junior high kids never wear coats. We were watching them walk by us in shorts and a t-shirt in freezing cold weather. None of them were wearing hats, and they were just sporting the summer wear in the winter. We had our laughs and kept talking.
Looking back on that, I began to think about things. Of course I over analyze everything but I find sometimes too we don’t like to wear our coats, and we walk around in the dead of winter because we’d rather be cold then look stupid. Think about it. Why do they insist on being cold? Well first off, Junior High kids typically don’t buy their own coat. A coat is something that your mom will come home with and make you wear. So it isn’t cool. Second, your at a retreat, you only have two days to impress the girls, so you probably put on your favourite two shirts and there was no way your covering up your cool shirt with that coat. Third, it is so much manlier to walk around in the dead of winter in shorts and a t-shirt. The girls are all huddled up and look at you, strong and not cold at all. If you were really smart, you would go find that coat and give it to a girl to wear, besides its not like you need it, you’re a man.
How often, do we as Christians, better yet, we as humans, choose image over everything else. What goes through your mind when you pass the offering plate by you without you putting in anything? When you are putting in a bunch of money, don’t you just want to show people that you are doing it? How often do we do things just because we think people will have a better impression of us rather than if we don’t do it? I want people to think I’m cool, and I’m strong and I’ve got it all together, so there is no way that I will reveal any sort of weakness to anyone around me. I’m afraid of my weakness. I’m afraid that others will see it and think less of me.
God has a different idea of this. Of course he does, he always likes to come at it from an opposite angle. He wants us to be open with each other about our weaknesses. That’s where he is strongest anyway (2 Cor 12:10). It’s the hardest, impossible thing to do of course. I find it more particularly hard when I’m around girls I like. I don’t want to reveal anything that will make me anything less than perfect. I don’t want you to know I struggle with lust, greed, bad stewardship or any other of those sins because I want you to think I’m ok.
Paul seemed to emphasize his weakness a lot.
2 Corinthians 11:30
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:5
I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.
2 Corinthians 12:9
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.
2 Corinthians 12:10
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.
Maybe it was something about the Corinthian church that brought out to much weakness talk, but I find this kind of interesting. My entire life has been trying to emphasize my strengths, showing people how “ok” I am. I want to do things that I am good at, where4 my strengths are. This seems to counteract everything I’ve done all my life. But yes, its true, my life consists of me always doing everything the bible does. I need to embrace my weakness. I don’t even know what that means, but I definitely know I haven’t been doing it.
I like how God can take the way a Junior High dresses and show me his truths. I’m working on this, and I always will be. Embrace weakness, cause then that when you will experience true strength. In the words of the teaching pastor at Mars Hill, “weakness is the new strength.”