By Michael C. Mack
As the apostle Paul told his story, he wrote,
But [the Lord] 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 12:9).
Most of us are good at boasting about our strengths: our natural abilities, our giftedness, and the talents we have worked hard to develop. We have physical strengths, intellectual capacities, emotional competence, relational aptitudes, and spiritual giftedness.
There are even assessments that measure our strengths. One is called StrengthFinder. It helps us discover what we do best, learn how to develop our greatest talents into strengths, and maximize our potential.
We enjoy thinking about, hearing about, and boasting about our strengths . . . but why would we, like Paul, boast about our weaknesses? That seems contrary to how our lives are oriented and what we’ve seen modeled. This is the upside-down, cross-shaped life Jesus has called us to if we want to follow him.
One of the important elements of Alcoholics Anonymous groups is telling your story—not sharing your strengths, but your weaknesses: your habits, hurts, and hang-ups. It’s about being humbled and open, transparent, and vulnerable. And it’s amazing. Other people relate to your God-honest truth, and it helps in their positive transformation as well.
As Christ followers, we do this for God’s glory. As we share our frailties, God’s power is unleashed, and it is perfected in our weakness. People see God’s power and love, his compassion and mercy through us.
God’s grace is sufficient for me. It’s all I need.
I don’t need more money or possessions or power. His grace is enough. I don’t need freedom from pain or difficult circumstances. His grace is enough. I don’t need my “best life now.” His grace is enough. I can now live in contentment and peace. His grace is enough.
As we focus on Jesus—his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life—God shouts out to us, “My grace is sufficient for you”! As Jesus willingly sacrificed his body and shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins, he shouted from the cross, “It is finished!” His grace is sufficient for all of us who believe in him.
Michael C. Mack is editor of Christian Standard.