We live in a world where image is everything. We are expected to exude confidence, smartness, holiness, and although we are confident, bright, and holy for the most part, there are times we fail. But we don’t want to let anybody know that because the image gets dented. Consequently, we find ourselves wearing masks, pretending to be people we are not, and end up stressed and pressured all the time.
The real danger is that we can even start pretending before God. But we don’t need to do that because God is not looking for perfect people; he is looking for real people. Real people struggle. Real people are weak. Real people are insecure and fearful. Real people fail and fall. When we can go to God in our vulnerability, then God can work in us.
The great apostle Paul was not afraid to admit he was weak. After an exceptionally wonderful experience, he was given a thorn in the flesh. What this “thorn” was is anyone’s guess, but Paul didn’t try to conceal it. He asked God to take it away, but God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2Corinthians 12:9a).
Paul was not the only one who was weak and had failings. If there is one thing we should have learned from Scripture, it is that all its heroes were weak! David, of course, immediately comes to mind when one speaks of weakness, but Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Peter — every single one of them — displayed weakness on occasion. Scripture could have glossed over these weaknesses but didn’t because it wanted to teach us that the Bible was about real people, not make-believe examples of perfection.
This should reassure all of us because nobody has their act entirely together. Everybody is pretending to be somebody they are not. The problem with this (other than the fact we are not really fooling anyone) is that God cannot work with people who pretend to be strong because his power is made perfect in weakness! If we act like we have it all together, then we are essentially telling God there is nothing for him to do, aren’t we? Paul understood this, which is why he said, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2Corinthians 12:9b). See the power that rested on Paul!
Therefore, dear friend, know it is ok to be vulnerable. You don’t have to live your life trying to be what you think people want you to be. You just need to be the person God created you to be. For this, all you need to do is go him as you are, warts and all, and let him mold you into the masterpiece you are meant to be.
Be real now!