This past summer, I helped drive our church’s youth to their summer conference. Being a conference junkie, I made sure to sit in on the different sessions. I was shocked when almost every session had to do with mental health and suicide prevention. We never had anything like that, but the kids today are being brought up under different pressures. Social media, texting, internet with access to every piece of information and music apps that let them listen to anything have changed life. Their insecurities and weaknesses are exposed on a worldwide scale rather than in their neighborhood. Bullying isn’t done to their face, it’s done on a keyboard. For the most part, they’ve become afraid to be who they are and live under the pressure of being perfect.
I love the people God used in the Bible. All of them were flawed and God still used them despite their insecurities. Moses had a speech impediment, yet God used him to speak to Pharaoh and set an entire nation free. Elijah suffered from bouts of depression and God used him to perform incredible miracles and draw a nation out of idolatry. Gideon was insecure about who he was, but God called a mighty warrior out of him. I could go on, but none of us are perfect. All of us are human making us flawed. God can use us despite our weaknesses. My pastor likes to say that people are drawn to our strengths, but they connect to us through our weaknesses.
Paul was a person who killed or imprisoned Christians. After becoming a Christian, he suffered the same fate. Philippians 1:14 says, “Because of my chains, most of the brothers have renewed confidence in the Lord, and have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear [of the consequences, seeing that God can work His good in all circumstances]” (AMP). His chains emboldened others to share their faith. The weaknesses that seem to bind you will help encourage others who are going through the same thing. Paul learned to celebrate his weaknesses and insecurities for the sake of the Gospel. He didn’t hide who he was or project an image of perfection. God isn’t looking for perfection from you. He’s looking for you to be who He created, flaws and all, so He can use you to connect with others and encourage them on their way. When you expose the chains of your weaknesses, it sets you and others free.
Photo by Joey Kyber: