Boast of Your Weaknesses, Especially When Ill

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 11:30)

Almost from birth we love to build ourselves up to others and make ourselves look good. Little girls twirl in their dresses and say, “Don’t I look pretty?” Children love to boast about getting all A’s in school or hitting a home run. Boasting doesn’t stop with maturity, as adults brag about job promotions, new homes, or their children’s developmental milestones.

In our sinful nature we hate weakness. We want to be thought of as strong and self-sufficient. However, Paul teaches us a very different way of life in this passage. Unlike the false teachers that oppose him and boast in their abilities, Paul boasts in his sufferings in order to show others what God has done in his life. As believers we too should not boast like the world does, for without Christ we are nothing. It is in our weakness that we are made strong by the grace of God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

For those of us who struggle with chronic illness we know a lot about weakness. Our bodies can’t do the things they used to. But if I had my full strength back what would I boast in? Would I praise God that I made it through another day by His grace alone? I fear that I would probably not pray as often for God’s grace and I would instead rely on my own strength.

It might seem strange to brag about my inability to clean my house the way I used to or to do things most moms don’t blink an eye about, but if in my weakness I am able to tell others of God’s strength and all sustaining grace then praise God! Anything that brings Him more glory is worth it because that is what we were created for-to make known his marvelous works among all peoples (Psalm 96:3).

Prayer: Dear loving Father, help us to accept our weaknesses as an opportunity to display Your grace in our lives for the glory of Your name.

About the Author:

Kari is a young wife and mother of a busy toddler. After ministering to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and living in Africa she is learning personally that pain has a purpose.

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