Boasting in weakness

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“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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Boasting in our weakness shouldn’t be our endgame. So what did the Apostle Paul mean when he said that he would boast in his weaknesses?

Pastor Jamin Goggin explains what this means, and what it does not.

“For Paul, the goal was not to mope around like Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh reciting failures over his life. He wasn’t just a masochist who loved suffering and getting beat up.”

“The endgame was embracing my weakness as a means by which I can fully trust and abandon my life to Christ and know His power in and through my life.”

For Paul, the goal was embracing the power of God despite his weakness. Weakness shows up in our lives in three ways.

1. As creatures, we are fundamentally weak.

“We are created finite and temporal. We have frailties and limitations, these things aren’t evil, they’re not even markers of sin. In fact, they’re intended pieces of our design as image bears in God’s creation. We’re not omnipotent, we’re not omniscient, we are created to live in dependent, life-giving relationship with God.”

2. We all have specific struggles.

“We are called to embrace and trust in God’s power in our particular areas of frailty and weakness. The truth is we all have emotional, physical, mental areas of weakness, frailty, or limitation.”

Jamin says that these weaknesses are just a part of who we are, they aren’t a result of sin or anything else.

3. Sin struggles. 

“Lastly, there are areas of vice propensity in our hearts, we have particular sins we are uniquely inclined towards and these also are areas of weakness.”

According to Jamin, these are weaknesses are designed to draw us closer to God. The question is, will we let them?

“These are all places now that we’re called to draw near to God, in the truth of ourselves saying, the truth is Lord I’m weak, the truth is I need you in all these ways. What does it mean to abide in you and trust in you in the midst of these things?”


Jamin Goggin is the pastor of spiritual formation and retreats at Saddleback Church. Jamin helped start Metamorpha Ministries. He lives in Southern California with his wife Kristin and three children.

Key Scripture: James 3:13-18

Featured Songs: Impossible – Building 429; The Same Power – Jeremy Camp; Move – Toby Mac

The way of the dragon or the way of the lamb


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