I just have to be right. Whatever I do, whoever I’m talking to, and whatever place I am at in my life I will always take the side that I am on. Who lives a lifestyle or believes a belief that they honestly believe to be wrong? Nobody that I know. They either do one of two things. They either change their belief structure to fit their lifestyle or they change their lifestyle to fit their beliefs. Very few sit in the middle and intentionally lives a life that is incongruent with their beliefs. These people would be insane or sick. We don’t know what to do with these people. They are usually the ones that struggle with addictions, are extremely cocky or extremely depressed with no hope.
So a command like Paul gives to us to boast in our weakness, makes no sense for us. How do I boast in my weakness? Am I honestly supposed to admit that I am wrong or incapable of living out exactly what I believe? That is dumb. It’s much easier to justify a lifestyle with ignorance and refusing to think. I do it all the time. I do it with the water I purchase and the clothes I wear and the gas I guzzle and the food I eat and the pleasures I have and the electronics I use and the the way I treat my body. I do all these things without thinking and convincing myself that there is nothing wrong with them. I can do all these things and live guilt free as long as I push off any situations, people or relationships that are directly affected. Every time I do one of these things I am telling myself that it is ok to do these things. I’m not actually feeling bad or bummed out, I’m convinced that it’s fine.
I don’t want to be known as a guy that believes one thing and lives another. So I change my beliefs. I don’t want to be a guy who refuses to change his life because he can critically argue his way out of it. The problem is though that I am extremely stubborn. I refuse to be wrong. So if I am living a certain way, I’m going to give you a hundred different reasons as to why it’s OK for me to live this way. I need you to know that the way I’m living is the right way to live and that I wouldn’t live in a wrong way.
Boasting in my weakness seems stupid and pointless. I will just boast when I am right and change or give the illusion of change when I am wrong. What kind of pastor would I be if I was up there telling people that being truly human is one thing, but I’m another. Where is the example in that? What kind of pastor would I be if I admitted that I fail everyday in living out what I am encouraging them to live out? What kind of pastor would I be saying “these are good things to do, but I won’t be joining you in doing them.” This is a pastor who is weak and a bad example. My guess is we probably need more of these kinds of pastors.