Thursday, March 15, 2007

Weakness and strength

God isn’t looking for strong people. He wants disciples weak enough to lean on his strength, not our own. The apostles argued about who was tops among the twelve, so Jesus showed them that God is looking for little children to populate his Kingdom. Christians in Corinth thought they were strong and wise, so the Apostle Paul made a point of telling them how weak and foolish he was. When we’re weakest in our own eyes is the very moment we can be strongest in God’s. It’s been true for a long time: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.” That’s the kind of strong God wants.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

2 comments:

Dr Mike said...

Paul said to those same Corinthians, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."

The verb tenses are interesting: they are all present active (or the equivalent thereof) imperatives - except for one. That lone exception is κραταιοω. It is present passive imperative, which is remarkable: Paul is commanding us to do something passively, i.e., to be strong. It goes back to the point you're making: we cannot do it in our own strength but must do it with the strength given to us by the Holy Spirit.

God continues to amaze and amuse me.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen. I'm planning to do a lesson on that very passage three Sundays from now. I hadn't gotten to the verb tense yet (thanks for the help with that!), but I've noticed how Paul first tells the Corinthians about his own weakness (chs. 1 & 2), goes on to show them what real Christian strength is (esp. in ch. 15), and the tells them to be strong (ch. 16). Thanks for the exegetical help!