Monday, March 6, 2017

2 Corinthians 12:5-7 -- On Glorying in Infirmities

"Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
2 Corinthians 12:5-7

This is a really interesting perspective that we can perhaps learn from.  Paul, here, tells us that he glories in infirmities.  That kind of seems crazy, right?  Why would we be happy about weakness or inability or limitation?  But Paul has an answer for us.  Weaknesses help us to control our pride, and remember that we aren't infallible.  Sometimes we need that weakness to realize that we're not actually better than other people, and that we still have a lot to learn.  Ether 12:27 backs this idea up: "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  Paul also goes on to tell us that, basically, weaknesses are an opportunity to rely on God's strength... which goes along with the humility things, and helps us to learn reliance on the Lord.

Reliance on the Lord is an important thing to learn.  It isn't learned helplessness or waiting for God to do everything for us.  Rather, it is realizing that we can't do everything, and knowing that when we have done all we can that God will step in and help us.  So, in a way, our areas of weakness are the ones that get the very best treatment... because God takes care of that part. :)

Today, even if we can't yet glory in them, let's at least try to accept our weaknesses, and be happy for the opportunities for instruction that they give us.  Let's learn from the Lord, and have hope and faith and confidence in his ability to make up for our weaknesses, and also to help us learn to be stronger and better.  Let's be thankful for (and perhaps glory in?) God's willingness to help us and teach us to be so much more than we are now. :)

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