Growing in the Knowledge of Your Weakness

A week or so ago, the Evident Grace leadership team met for our annual New Year’s dinner.  This is our yearly time to celebrate all that God has done in our lives and at the church, while also getting some much-needed fun time with each other. 

After dinner and dessert, Amy and I gathered everyone together.  We had taken the time to write out ICNU cards for each person there.  An ICNU is when you encourage people by telling them, “I see in you _______.” It’s an opportunity to affirm and encourage people about what you see in their lives or what you see God doing in their lives.  This initiative comes from author Dave Ferguson and his book “Hero Maker”. Learn more about both at http://www.heromakerbook.org/.

After that, we put names in a basket, and everyone drew one.  Then, anonymously, we wrote out ICNU’s.  We then gave them to each person, and they read theirs out loud.  It was a powerful time where people read what others saw in them. 

I was admittedly curious as to what someone would say about me.  I opened the card and read, “Gordon, I see in a leader growing in the knowledge of his weakness and his need to depend on the church.”  

My first reaction?  Disappointment.  I wanted to be seen as strong, and faithful, or maybe even…Godly.  I wasn’t ready for, “growing in knowledge of my weakness.”  But upon reflection, isn’t that we are called to do?  Doesn’t the Bible say…

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I realized that pride had snuck in, wishing they said something different. Ultimately, I’m thankful for this.  Of course, I want to grow to be strong, but if others see God in my life in this way, I can trust that God is faithfully pouring our His sufficient grace to me.

So, don’t despise the knowledge of your weakness.  Instead, thank God for its recognition, and trust His grace.

If you would like to pursue this thought more, I recorded a podcast about it.  You can find the link to your favorite podcast platform to listen to it at:

https://anchor.fm/thisisgonnahurt/episodes/Episode-46—Growing-in-Weakness-as-an-Individual-and-a-Leader-e2v9dl.

Gordon Duncan

Gospel Rich Books

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Spiritual Training Has Greater Value But We Can’t Neglect Physical Training As Well

1 Timothy 4:8 For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Paul makes a wonderful point in this short verse.  He teaches us to value the spiritual training that calls each child of God into greater intimacy with their Savior, Jesus Christ.  Each Christian is called to train themselves in the disciplines of prayer, study, etc. just like an athlete trains themselves to run, lift, and swim faster, stronger, or with greater endurance.  These spiritual disciplines have greater value and have a greater impact on the life of the believer and all who are around them.

But, the Apostle doesn’t devalue physical exercise.  Instead, he reminds us that physical training has value, just not as much as spiritual training.  Why is this so?  Because the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.

We glorify God by how we care for our body.  Again, the greater glory is spiritual, but the body, and our care for it, gives glory to God as well.

Unfortunately, the Christian culture rarely speaks of physical training and care.  Many spiritual leaders are out of shape and don’t recommend any measure of discipline or restraint.  Very few teachers speak on the sins of gluttony.  Even fewer offer Godly examples of what care for the body should look like.

So, while spiritual training has the higher value and greater impact, physical training is important.  If the body fails, spiritual ministry will be hindered and at times, prevented.

Let’s not be those who neglect one truth by over-emphasizing another.  God desires us to glorify Him both physically and spiritually.

Gordon Duncan

Gospel Rich Books, Editor

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