If I Must Boast

2 Corinthians 11:21b-33

I’ve been tired today. Jet lagged, a little bothered by the heat which is horrible in Madrid right now, trying to get my bearings and continue to take care of details as they pop up has all combined to wear me out. Yes, I made it to Spain and my hotel, which is great, but it has taxed my energy in the meantime. I wouldn’t say that I’m at my strongest right now.

For some reason, according to 2 Corinthians 11, the apostle Paul would not see this as a bad thing. In fact, he writes, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.


Paul has just spent time and effort telling us how he is so much better qualified for his work as a missionary than anyone else. You’ve had it tough? I’ve had it tougher. You think you’ve got an impressive resume? Ha! I’ve got that beat, too. But never mind all that he suddenly says, because I’m going to boast of my weakness.

Today as I’ve tried to keep myself going and tried to get my internal clock reset, I’ve had the opportunity to feel heat the way many feel the effects of the weather all the time, to feel lost and out of place the way folks with disabilities may feel every day, to be confused by language the way immigrants so often are, to wonder how much longer I can or should push myself like so many single parents and grown children caring for aging moms and dads. Maybe Paul came to know Jesus better by being weak the way Jesus was, especially in his crucifixion. That’s something the church needs to consider. That’s a point our world leaders and our industrialists and our people of prestige and prominence need to consider all the time if they are truly to lead is. Maybe strength and power isn’t what God is calling is to claim. Maybe it really is all about the willingness to claim our weakness and minister in and through it.

Prayer: Lord, help us to see our weakness as a connection to you and to others and as an opportunity to see the world the way it too often is. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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