Weakness Is Your Secret to Success In God’s Economy
I’m constantly “in over my head” at work, and it’s not so bad. In fact, being clueless is one of my secrets to success as a Christian business professional. While you might not instinctively find inexperience a desirable trait, Jesus puts it near the top of his list – and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
My work is extremely complex and often overwhelming. Every day I stare into the bane of the American economy and try to make order out of a chaotic vertical called health care. This economic giant impacts our emotional, physical, and financial health and it’s as multifaceted as it is significant. No matter how much experience and expertise I acquire, I have no clue what I’m doing. Nobody does.
I’m guessing your work is similar. Business in general is complex. Most decisions are multifaceted and lack a clear outcome. Rarely do we have perfect information or the whole story when we make decisions. That’s just the nature of the game. And just when we’ve it figured out, things change. Things are always changing.
Any time I face a challenge in the workplace, my first reaction is to panic. I feel anxiety and internal accusations that I’m not smart or experienced enough to develop a solution. It’s easy to shrink into a comfort zone where you don’t have to face challenges, instead sticking to the things you know and do well. But you don’t get very far in life avoiding adversity – so you have a decision to make. Will you embrace fear and uncertainty as an opportunity, or will you run from it?
Over the years I’ve learned that my greatest strength as a Christian business professional is my weakness. I’m not the smartest, most experienced, or charismatic. For the most part, I’m no better or worse than the next guy. This is a humbling thought, but it is also an extremely empowering one. I embrace my own weakness as a grand strength because it represents an opportunity for me to become less and God to become more.
Take a look at 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul recognizes that God’s power is made perfect in His weakness. This is one of the greatest truths you can stand on in the marketplace. It is a promise that when you feel inadequate or unprepared, God delights in that weakness and is willing to make you strong. When you talk about a competitive advantage that Christians have in the marketplace, this is it. In our weakness, God’s strength shines and we can accomplish things we would not otherwise be able to accomplish.
Sometimes I wonder how I got where I am and even more how I’m going to get to where I want to be. But when I become anxious about my ability to succeed going forward, I have learned to quickly take confidence in what Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 12. I give thanks for my weakness, offer it to God, and proceed with faith that God will be strong where I’m weak. I don’t have all the answers – but I do believe God will lead me in the Spirit to surface above adversity and succeed.
If the odds are stacking up against you at work, or if you’re facing a seemingly impenetrable challenge, stop right now and give thanks for your weakness. Surrender it to God and confess that you will not be able to overcome it without His strength. Ask Him to provide provision for whatever is before you.
The beauty of God’s strength being made perfect in our weakness is that it leaves no room for us to receive any glory – and that can become your workplace testimony. While some people might look at me and see that I’ve succeeded beyond my abilities, I know the truth – the truth that God has taken me to new levels because of my weakness.