HEARTLIGHTSpecial Feature







The Strength of Weakness, by Jack Kuhatschek

While this article would be good for anyone of either gender, there is in our Western culture a great temptation for us as men to confuse strength with the exercise of brute force or the over-use of power. We don’t want our sons sensitive for fear they will be weak, we worry that we can’t be compassionate in business or we will be taken advantage of, we can’t have a chink in our armor or our rivals will do us in. But this article reminds us that true strength is often found when we are honest about our weakness and let Jesus transform us. —Phil

    To be completely honest, I don’t want to be weak—ever. I want to be physically and emotionally strong, rich and competent. Like Walter Mitty, I sometimes daydream about being such a person, and while the dream lasts it seems like the best life imaginable.

    Yet God’s statement to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 shakes me from my slumber and awakens me to the fact that this would not be the best but the worst thing that could ever happen to me or to anyone else. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with being strong, rich, secure, or competent, our desires for these things often spring from sinister motives.

    Over the years I have learned that my desire to be powerful is really a longing for independence and self-sufficiency. After all, it is frustrating to be weak and dependent on someone else, even if the someone is God himself. In order to depend on God, I need faith—and faith can be risky!

The Lord created us to be dependent on him…
    If I really got my wish for absolute strength, unlimited wealth, and total competence, I wouldn’t feel any need for God. I would never experience his faith fulness or discover his sufficient grace. I would never learn to live in humble dependence on him. I would be tempted to rely on my own power instead of the power of God. In fact, my feelings of pride and self-sufficiency would make me believe I was a god myself.

    For many years I have felt that Joni Eareckson Tada personifies Paul’s concept of God’s power being perfected in human weakness. Joni would be the first to admit that Paul’s principle of strength in weakness applies not just to quadriplegics or handicapped children or adults with cerebral palsy. God intends for it to be the normal way of life for every Christian—the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the somebodies and the nobodies. The Lord created us to be dependent on him, and when we strive for independence and self-sufficiency, we are fighting a battle that is contrary to our nature and that we can never win.

    Because we are mere creatures, we can never be strong enough in ourselves to accomplish all that God desires in our lives. And when those who have great physical and emotional strength rely on themselves rather than God, they miss the opportunity to experience a power beyond their comprehension. Even after the Lord returns and we have resurrection bodies that are immortal and imperishable, our power will still be puny in comparison to God’s. So is it any wonder that the Lord chooses to display his power rather than ours or to glorify himself rather than us?


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
The previous excerpt was taken from the book, The Superman Syndrome by Jack Kuhatschek (Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), available at your local bookstore or by calling 800-727-3480. Used with permission.
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