Weakness As A Competitive Advantage
I have always thought that weakness is something to be fixed. This, of course, is what we are raised to believe. We are told that success is the thing to pursue and woe betide if you should show weakness along the way.
So I asked God what the difference was between the world’s definition of weakness and His. They seem to be opposites and I was intrigued about how to walk this out, God’s way. This is what I’m discovering…
I love to coach people. But I am becoming more and more aware that even though I may know how to do so, there is something amazing that happens when I partner with God and invite Him to do it with me.
You know what it’s like when you’re trying to help someone who is feeling down. You can give advice or listen or encourage and sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn’t. And the next thing you know, they’re back to behaving the same way that got them feeling bad in the first place (aren’t we all like that at times?)
As I have sat talking to God about my own failings and the cyclical patterns in my life and how they should be fixed, He has been helping me to see the truth that Paul talks about in this verse…
But He answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.
2 Cor 12:9 (TPT)
I went to lunch with a lady who wanted to know how our two organizations could connect and collaborate. She was telling me about all the amazing things her group does, and it was truly impressive. I felt the drive to tell her about all the life-changing things that we do too. Isn’t this the way it usually goes? We tell each other about how wonderful we are and then begin to compare ourselves. I could see areas where they could help us and areas where we could help them. But, as I became aware of the pressure to show our success and not our weakness, I asked the Lord what was really going on.
The answer I got was that this conversation was about remembering how loved we are. This was an opportunity for my weakness in navigating how to deal with the pressure to perform that was building inside me, to be a point of connection with God’s strength instead. He brought a memory to my mind of a similar situation where I felt the strain of ‘performance’ and I shared it with her.
I told her that when I coach people I simply look at them and ask God how much He loves them. I ask Him what He wants to say to them and what they need in this moment. As I described this to her, I could feel the love of God flooding our table. I began to weep as I was reminded of how much more God loves us than we will ever know. I told her of times that I have quietly got up and left a coachee sitting at the table to continue experiencing the Presence of God. It is so evident when He is doing something beautiful in them, and I am so in awe of Him, that I want to leave them wrapped in what He is doing.
As we spoke, tears rolled down her cheeks as she was feeling the Presence of God and realizing how loved she is. He was inviting her and I to go beyond the ’success stories’ and accept the opportunity to partner with Him in our weakness. His invitation is for us to connect with Him – for the sake of our communities.
No matter how many coaching courses I go on. Regardless of how many years’ experience I have under my belt. Despite all of my expertise, I am not able to help people get the kind of breakthrough they do when I invite God to coach with me. His strength helping me to be free of the need to ‘perform’ in my own strength.
Make no mistake, I am good at what I do and I endeavor to become better all the time. I am committed to excellence. Yet at the same time I am becoming more and more fascinated with what it looks like to invite God’s grace to always be more than enough for me, and for His power to find its full expression through my weakness.
Thus, the Truth emerges.
In the Kingdom, weakness is not something to be fixed,
it is an invitation to connection with God.
As a result both we, and the world that we get to influence, are deeply blessed.
What could it look like in your life if:
• you celebrated your weaknesses as opportunities for God to come and show Himself strong?
• you partner with Him to be the fullest expression of what it looks like to live everyday life, with Jesus?
Lisa van den Berg hails from South Africa, via the UK, and has dedicated her over two-decade career to helping people achieve success. She has honed her skills in a variety of roles including systems implementation and management, coaching and mentoring, and customer care. She has worked for a wide range of firms from national IT consultancies to local not for profits, and across both business and church sectors.
Lisa is the Director of ‘Heaven in Business Online’ where she spends her time creating and sourcing transformative teaching and case studies on partnering with God at work, for the online Community. Lisa, and her husband Frans, live in Redding, CA