Do you have any friends who are body builders? I do. They work hard at bringing their body under discipline, they exercise, lift weights and eat right too. Imagine if you will, if this person who is ripped walked past someone who was struggling to lift something and said, “I lift things heavier than that at the gym.” Then they walk away. How would you feel about that person? You know and they know they have the strength to help, but didn’t. It would change your opinion about them.
The same is true for those of us who have strength of character. We may be strong in many areas of our lives and not have to worry about certain temptations. Imagine if we saw someone struggling with sin and said, “I don’t struggle with that.” We would look like hypocrites and give the appearance that we don’t care about their struggle. Hopefully you think that would be a shame, but believers do it all the time. We see people struggle with sin and we steer clear of them. That’s against what God’s Word teaches.
Romans 15:1-2 lay it out clearly. It says, “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?‘” (MSG) Part of being a Christian is looking beyond yourself and helping others who are walking down the same path. We can’t just leave them behind or treat them as inferior Christians.
My favorite part of that verse says, “Strength is for service, not status.” God has called you and I to be servants. No matter how close we get to God, no matter how strong of a Christian we think we are, we are to help others by serving them. God is pleased with our ability to be humble enough to help those who struggle rather than to turn our nose up at them. The only status that matters in Heaven is “Servant”. You are never too strong to not bend down and help someone else. God is looking for us to do what’s right even if it’s not convenient.
Last week, a mentor of mine posted a video of himself working out. He held a barbell above his head and squatted multiple times. He then moved over to a chin up bar and did several chin ups. After that he went back to the barbells. He repeated the process until he couldn’t go on. I watched as he began to struggle. His arms twitched. He had to refocus and retry a few times as he got wore out. Finally, he stopped and walked off the mat. His caption said, “One thing Crossfit does, it exposes weakness in areas you might have thought you were strong in. But I love it!”
That phrase stuck out to me. Most of us want nothing to do with having our weaknesses exposed. We like to keep them hidden from others and pretend they don’t exist. We like to focus on areas where we’re strong and show that side to the world. We like to put our best foot forward and rarely let others see who we completely are. We’re afraid others won’t like us as much or will look down on us. Fear plays a big role in keeping our weaknesses covered up. Unfortunately, that fear is what keeps us from being more of the person God wants us to be.
Knowing what your weaknesses are and putting them in the open has a lot of benefits. First, knowing your weaknesses gives you direction and focus. It shows you exactly what you need to work on. Just because you are weak in an area of your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t get strong there. Don’t fall for the lie that it’s just who you are or it’s just in your nature. You are only weak in areas of your life to the extent that you allow yourself to be. You have the power to get strong in those areas if only you will push yourself. When you do, you will find other areas of weakness. Simply repeat the process.
Another benefit to exposing weakness is that it opens you up to accountability. As long as you hide your weakness, it will eat away at you and hold you hostage. The moment you expose it and ask others to help, you set yourself free. You are free from the mind games it has played with you and used to keep you down. You are free to work on that area and to get help. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to say to someone else, “Here’s where I’m weak. I need you to hold me accountable and to help me beat it,” you begin to turn that weakness into a strength. You begin to take control over it instead of letting it have control over you.
In Psalm 139:24-24, David prayed to God and said, “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine me and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about… then guide me on the road to eternal life.” David understood this principle. He asked God to test him and to expose his weaknesses so that he could be guided on the road to eternal life. Each one of us have areas of weakness. Each one of us fail God in our lives. But not each one of us dare to ask God to expose it and then to guide us to a deeper walk with Him. Take that first step today and ask God to expose your weaknesses. Then find an accountability partner to help you strengthen that area. You’ll be glad you did.