It has been said, never show your weaknesses, mainly because it will be used against you. The fact is, everybody has weaknesses. We have physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual weaknesses, so the question is, what do you do with your weaknesses?
While most people deny, defend, or excuse their weaknesses, Christians can embrace them and ask God to use them! When God works through weak people, His power is shown more clearly (2 Corinthians 12:5, 9, 1 Corinthians 9:22, Hebrews 4:15, 11:34).
When I use the word weakness, I’m not talking about a character flaw that can and should be changed. A weakness is any limitation in my life I inherited or can’t change. How do you lead your small group through weaknesses that you didn’t ask for and don’t have the ability to change?
1. Admit Your Weaknesses: In other words, stop pretending to have it all together, stop hoping the weaknesses will go away, stop ignoring them, and stop making excuses and blaming others (which only hurts my credibility in the end).
2. Be Grateful for Your Weaknesses: The limitations God allows in our lives are actually blessings in disguise (remember that Laura Story song on K-Love). Our limitations guarantee that God will show up to help. If I can do things in my own strength, the ultimate conclusion is, “Who needs God?”
Weaknesses also prevent me from becoming arrogant, and nothing will limit my effectiveness in leading a small group more than arrogance.
3. Openly Share Your Weaknesses: This is what is called being vulnerable. By sharing my weaknesses I am admitting that there are limits to my knowledge, my ability, and my energy.
Being open is also very risky (which is why we seek to avoid it at all cost). There will be people in your small group or the church at large who don’t want you to be human. They think a teacher is some super Christian and can’t handle knowing about any weaknesses. They’d rather put a halo on you and pretend you are never tempted and that you’re above the negative realities of life.
Refusing to be vulnerable is dishonest and hypocritical, but even worse, it sets up a scenario in which people become disillusioned with Christians when one’s humanness eventually shows – and it always will.
Why is it so important to reveal your feelings? Here are seven reasons:
- It liberates you from the stress of keeping up a false image.
- Some faults won’t be dealt with until you confess them to others.
- You can’t experience grace without weaknesses and you can’t minister and teach others without grace.
- It’s the fastest way to endear yourself to others. People will seek to support you and pray for you.
- Honesty supports your credibility, and people only follow leaders they trust.
- It’s good for the group. It encourages others to throw away their masks, deal with their own weaknesses.
- It helps your teaching to speak to others with transparency.
When you share your strengths, you create competition.
When you share your weaknesses, you create community.
So what do you share? As you think about how you will relate and communicate to others this week, think about how you will share these five things:
Your humanity is actually one of your greatest assets in your teaching ministry. To deny your humanity is not only dumb, it decreases your effectiveness. Do you want to be used by God? Do you want his blessing on your ministry? Do you want people to give the glory to God? Walk in total dependence on God and embrace your weaknesses!
[print_link] [email_link] Modified from Rick Warren