Something to Brag About


I really want you to like me.

I want you to see the cool, admirable things about me. The “Facebook” me. My strengths, my talents, my accomplishments. But the other stuff, the not-so-cool things about me, I’d rather leave those in the shadows. I’d prefer that you think of me as strong, confident and capable. But, if I’m honest, I have to admit that the real me isn’t like that most of the time.

I guess it’s human nature to hide the worst and put up a good front.

But Paul took a different approach. He said, “If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weakness” (2 Cor 11:30). What? He had so many things going for him. His life was a long series of accomplishments most Hebrew men would brag about. Why then did Paul gladly boast in his weaknesses (2 Cor 12:5)?

He had tasted of the supremely satisfying grace of Jesus.

After repeatedly praying for relief from a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7-8), Paul experienced God’s gracious strength in his weakness. And that grace was enough. It was far more satisfying than his own strength had ever been. God’s grace came out in dazzling splendor against the backdrop of Paul’s weakness. He experienced the unfailing strength of grace and his heart was satisfied.  

Where Paul’s strength was lacking, Jesus’ strength was full and complete. And Paul never wanted to go back to life in his own power. From that encounter forward, Paul wanted Jesus’ power to “set up camp” in his life. He took pleasure in – he literally thought it was good and even preferred –  his weaknesses over his strengths. Why? Because “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).

Paul learned to value the eternal more than the temporary. He learned to follow Jesus. Jesus was crucified in weakness, but raised, and even now lives, by the power of God (2 Cor 13:4). Paul based his ministry on the cross of Christ, not eloquence of speech, lest the cross be emptied of its power (1 Cor 1:17). He proclaimed God’s message through his own weakness so that the only One who shone was the only One who deserves to shine – the dazzling Son of God.

I have tasted of that grace, too. And yes, it is supremely satisfying. So I am learning to glory in my weakness, for it is there that Christ’s strength is most visible, and His grace is most fulfilling.

In what areas of weakness have you seen the powerful grace of God displayed? How has His grace met your needs?


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