“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him[b] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-31.
Each of us know people who have a problem with Christianity. There are several reasons for this. One of the reasons is that Christianity is just a crutch. It’s for those people who can’t face the world without something to prop them up. Or in other words, Christianity is an invention designed for people incapable of coping with life’s pressures. Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” The view is some people use alcohol, some drugs, others Christianity, to get themselves through this difficult world.
When I hear someone comment that Christianity is a crutch, I tend to agree. I would have a hard time standing up for what I believe in without Jesus. I need that crutch. Christianity is something that all people need. This is the message of Romans 5:6: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
When we were at our weakest, God rescued us at the appointed time. This is the gospel. This is good news invading our lives. It allows us to stop looking inside of ourselves to solve our problems—because we are the problem. It allows us to accept the fact that we are weak. We can stop thinking of how much better we can get. We can’t do it. Yes, we can read our Bibles, pray, help those in need, share our faith, tithe and grow in maturity. On our best day, however, we will fall woefully short of God’s expectations. Yet God has intervened on our behalf by sending Christ to die for us.
This realization should create humility. It should eliminate any arrogance. Or Christian swagger. Or pride in what we have accomplished. We didn’t save ourselves. God saved us. We didn’t pull ourselves out of sin by our bootstraps. God pulled us out of our sin. We were helplessly stuck. He unstuck us.
God alone gets the glory. When we understand that, we stop leaning on the crutches of work, family, money, possessions, skills, abilities or ministry that we use to make us seem strong. Everything we do should be focused on glorifying Him. We don’t need validation, because God validated us in Jesus Christ.
That’s why we say Nobody’s Perfect at Northstar. It is Ok to be OK. God doesn’t leave His people in their weakness. He begins to lead them out of it. He gives strength to the weak.
- Does it trouble you to be considered weak? Does it take more strength to live life by God’s standards than to live your life any way you choose?
- Read 2 Corinthians 12:9: What does God’s strength in our weakness mean to you? What does weakness mean in this passage? Why is God’s power made perfect in weakness?
- Do you ever try to compensate for your weakness with work, good deeds, etc?
- Describe some ways God has been strong in your weakness?
- In what ways do you need God to be strong in your weakness at this time in your life?