Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
I think we should all take a deep breath! What a relief that we don’t have to be all put together! Picture perfect is just an illusion, a moment in life paused. We all know that before everyone is scrambling to prepare and after everything goes back to the normal chaos. Especially if there are kids involved. Some of the most cherished photos we have of our children are hardly perfect.
That’s what I appreciate about this passage. Paul is so raw and authentic. He doesn’t put on fancy clothes or try and prepare a polished, flawless speech. So often we think in order to “preach” Jesus our lives have to be perfect and desirable. He says, “I came to you in weakness, with great fear and trembling.” In other passages he speaks of the persecution and hardships he endured over and over again. Believe me I don’t think anybody desired Paul’s life. That definitely doesn’t look like the kind of Christianity we try to impress our neighbors with.
Maybe you are familiar with this popular verse written by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Paul wasn’t oblivious to his struggles. He pleads with God to take away a “thorn in his flesh.” But the answer was no. He was painfully aware, probably ashamed of this thorn. Many scholars believe that it was a speech impediment. But watch what God does: He uses Paul, his simple speech, his weakness and his fear so “that their faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
So seriously stop and take a breath. Your life, your weaknesses, your struggles, your perseverance, your faith and hope are all on display as demonstrations of the Spirit’s power when you aren’t enough, when you need a Savior!
Jesus help us not to be ashamed of our need for you. Let us acknowledge and boast in our weaknesses so that we can receive more of your grace and put your power on display. Help us to be transparent and genuine with those around us. May we be quick to confess our faults, quick to forgive and quick to give you the glory for when we do overcome. Amen.
Author: Michela Brownell