I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s a term that a comedian officially coined in 2010. The term is humblebrag. To humblebrag is to brag about yourself behind a false show of humility or behind a false complaint.
An example of humblebrag might be this: At a neighborhood party a man says, “I don’t know how my kids grew up to be so grounded and successful considering what kind of dad they have.” Or this: In the office lunchroom a woman complains, “I wish I could just concentrate on my own work, but everyone keeps coming to me for advice.” Or this: On a first date, the young man says, “You should probably know about my character flaws. For one, I’m too conscientious. For another, I tend to care too much about other people.”
Enough examples? No doubt you get the idea.
As it turns out, recent studies have shown that humblebragging does not work very well. An article in a recent edition of Time magazine cites a study in which people actually dislike a humblebrag more than a straightforward brag. In fact, they dislike a humblebrag even more than a straightforward complaint. The reason for this appears to be that people smell a whiff of dishonesty in the humblebrag, whereas the straightforward brag and the straightforward complaint are, at least, sincere.
Which brings us to the apostle Paul. In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, Paul did a bit of bragging. And his bragging was humble. It was not, however, humblebrag.
On the contrary, Paul found himself in a moment of profound truth. You see, for a long time Paul had been painfully aware of his own weaknesses. He’d been painfully aware of his own failures. He’d been painfully aware of his own inadequacies, struggles, and imperfections. But when Paul fervently asked the Lord several times to take away some of his weakness, the Lord told Paul that it was those very weaknesses that helped Paul keep his eyes focused on God’s grace, God’s undeserved love in Jesus Christ.
And so, take inventory of your weaknesses. Take inventory of your difficulties. Take inventory of your inadequacies and struggles. See how the Lord has used them to keep your field of vision filled with God’s forgiveness of your every sin through faith in Jesus as your Savior. Give thanks for them. Rejoice in them. Parade them as precious evidence of the Lord’s love for you.
Lord Jesus, thank you for using my weaknesses to display your constant grace in my life. I rejoice in them. And I rejoice in you. Amen.