Christopher StitesComment

The "W" Word

Christopher StitesComment
The "W" Word

This word is not for the fainthearted.

It's not brought up often, at least not in a positive light. It has felt like it has been banned in some establishments around the world. Sometimes it feels like Christians have banned it as as well, treating it like just another curse word.

When you use it to describe yourself, people stop and stare.
It's not taught in school.
It's not a badge that boys or girl scouts can earn.
Instagram has no room for this kind of stuff.

Although most of the world may look down upon it, we all feel it. Not one person who has taken a step on this planet has been without it. The difference is, though, that some people spend their whole lives trying to mask it and avoid it, while the few and the rare, well... they end up embracing it.

WEAKNESS. 

You may see it as a burden. I see it as a gift.
You may think of it as a curse. I think it's a blessing.
You may believe it disqualifies you.
God says it is exactly what makes you qualified.
Books will say it makes you ineffective.
I think it multiplies your effectiveness.

I have learned this in a fresh and impactful way recently.

If there was one person in my life who is suppose to have it all together it would be my Pastor. He is the one who is suppose to have the words to counsel the confused, the strength to support the broken. He is suppose to be the strong one among a bunch of people who are not always strong, the steadfast shepherd among the sporadic sheep.

But for my Pastor, who happens to be one of my best friends, this isn't the case. In recent weeks I have seen him firsthand, over multiple times, confess to different groups of people in our church his weakness. No, I am not talking about confessing some deep dark sin (although he has taught me more than anyone how to be selflessly transparent). And shockingly enough, it is not because He has turned his back on God. Not at all.

I am talking about just confessing that you are not doing good at the moment. Telling others that you need some encouragement and help. Letting those around you know that you could use their prayers and their love. Being honest about being tired, about the burden you are carrying, the weight you feel.

I can't tell you how much of a gift this has been to me and our church.

Some may scoff at having a leader do such a thing.
I praise God for this humility.
Some may choose to not follow someone this vulnerable.
I am listening and following all the more.

This world does not need strong Christians.
Our churches do not need strong pastors. 
We need people who can admit they are weak.

I am so thankful to have a friend, leader and pastor who does not try to be the hero of the story.

Pastors, Christians, leaders...
Don't buy the lie that is on the bookshelves.
Don't believe the words that Satan whispers.
You don't have to be strong.
In fact, you need to be weak.

Those who can admit they are weak are the ones who get to really experience Jesus' strength. And the more we experience His strength, the more praise He receives!