Best of Daily Reflections: God Chooses the Weak
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Like many perfectionists I know, I have wrongly believed that my work must be flawless in order for it to give glory to God, or to effectively serve his people.
In recent years, that faulty thinking has infected my speaking ministry. My presumptions about perfection put all of the emphasis on my performance rather than on the work of the Holy Spirit, who moves mightily regardless of human skill or talent.
I confessed my wrong thinking to a friend who encouraged me to ease up on my perfectionistic tendencies. She said I ought to trust that God can be glorified, even in sub-par performances.
My friend then dared me to pray this prayer before every speaking event: “Dear God, let my words and my life honor you. I’m willing to fall flat on my face if it brings glory to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
I took the dare.
Do you know the saying, “Be careful what you pray for?” Well, God seemed to answer my prayer literally. One morning at a speaking event, I tripped on the hem of my pants and fell down, in front of a gasping audience.
I stood up, red-faced, and announced to the crowd: “I have this habit of falling for Jesus again and again.”
I’m not sure how my literal fall gave God glory that morning, but I choose to trust that it did. Maybe my fall glorified God simply by letting the people in the audience know that I am like them: flawed and sometimes stumbling, despite my attempts to have it all together.
Maybe my fall is redeeming itself a little bit today. For it reminds us anew that God has a long history of glorifying himself through the weakness of His people. God used Moses, slow of speech. Jesus favored the non-elite when picking his disciples. And Paul reminded us what Jesus once said about God’s power working best in human weakness.
Paul also told us that God chose the “lowly things of the world”—even lowly people—so that nobody could boast. Maybe God chooses the weak so there’s no doubt who gets the glory for the work we do in the world.
That takes the pressure off of any of us, who think that the only way to impact the world is through a spotless performance. And it’s also good news for any of us feeling too lowly—or in my case, too clumsy—to be of good use in the kingdom.
And if we do fall? There’s no better place to land than at the feet of Jesus.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you believe that God can be glorified even if your work performance is sub-par? How have you seen God’s strength at work in your weakness?
PRAYER: Dear God, let my words and my life honor you. I’m willing to fall flat on my face if it brings glory to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.