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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

THE STRENGTH OF WEAKNESS

I love it when people admit their flaws. They instantly become real and approachable. I think of Rachael Ray as an example. She admits being a goof in the kitchen. She spills food, struggles with appliances and admits she doesn't chop an onion properly. And yet, people love her because she's real, not perfect. If she pretended to be perfect, I doubt that she would have the popularity she has or the success she has. Thus, her imperfection is a strength.

Whenever I meet a woman who tries to be perfect I feel like there's a wall walking around in front of her. She's not someone I could ever get to know. She's unapproachable. Too perfect to be touched. With all the time she invests in appearing perfect, what time could she possibly have for friendship?

On the other hand, a woman who admits her flaws is an instant friend. She's someone I can relate to, someone I can laugh with. She's someone like me--imperfect.

Admitting her flaws is one of the most endearing qualities I think a woman can have. Only a confident woman can admit she's not perfect; while those who try to be perfect are often plagued by deep insecurities. Perfection is a cover up.

As women, we don't think about our imperfections as being strengths, but they really are. I discovered this recently after returning from an event where I was supposed to lead a group of women. My mind was foggy. I couldn't focus and I felt inadequate. While driving home I decided I didn't have what it takes to lead. I was planning to step down.

Then I read something that changed my mind. In 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul prayed for God to remove a painful physical ailment so that he could be more effective in his service. But God didn't grant Paul's request. Instead He said, "...I'm teaching you that my power will be available for your needs. When you are weak, My power will be strongest in you." This kept Paul dependent on God. In his trial he would be strong--not in his own power, but in God's power.

This works the same with friendship. When we surround ourselves with caring friends, we create a support system for ourselves. These friendships make us stronger. But when we try so hard to be perfect and can't admit our flaws, failures, and mistakes, we appear not to need friends. We don't need a listening ear or a shoulder to comfort us. The wall is up. We can't risk looking anything but perfect. It's a lonely place to be.

God created us to need not only Him but also each other. We're supposed to depend on others for comfort and encouragement. But if we pretend we don't need those things, who will want to offer it?

Weakness is a strength when it makes us more dependent on God and more likeable to others. Most people can't relate to perfection. But when we admit our problems, we become real and people want to know us. The wall falls down and the welcome sign goes up. When we are weak is when we are strongest.

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