Calvary Pastors This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors

God is not in the business of making us strong. Rather, He is working to make us weak, so that His strength might be revealed in us and through us. 

2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What does Paul mean when he writes, “For when I am weak, then I am strong?” I honestly believe there has been a lot of misunderstanding as to what this means.  

The problem is in our understanding of strength.

Today, strength is associated with independence. A strong person is able to speak their mind and get what they want. Weakness, on the other hand, is associated with dependence. In the world, a weak person will be taken advantage of and walked all over; for example, they might be passed over for promotions because they were too “weak” to plead their case. 

This type of mentality existed in Corinth, and we can all agree it is still prevalent today. 

“We hold these truths to be self evident…”

America was built upon the principle of independence. In 1776, Americans declared to the British crown that independence was a God-given right, and many have died to protect that right. As a nation, independence is a treasure.

As parents, we want to help our kids become independent (though certainly not from God). 

A mom holding her two-month-old baby is a beautiful sight. The connection between that baby and his or her mom is special. A mom holding her twenty-year-old child, though, is a sign that something isn’t right. Maybe that young man is severely handicapped and in need of assistance. In that case, we feel bad that this young man is not able to have the kind of independence that is normal at his age. 

We all want our kids to be able to think for themselves and to make wise decisions. Our hope is that when they leave our home, they will be able to survive, and maybe even thrive, in the world. In our parenting, independence is a necessary and good end to work toward. However, in our relationship with God, such is not the case.

As God’s child, independence is toxic. 

It has never been God’s design to take weak and broken people and make them independently strong. In God’s kingdom, strength is not attained by independence but through co-dependence.  


In our world, a co-dependent person is a weak person. The term almost always has a negative connotation. We have rehabs for those who have drug and alcohol dependency problems. We have anti-depressants for those who need help coping with life issues. 

A co-dependent person is often labeled a leech in our society. They drain the life out of something or someone in what tends to be a destructive manner. 

But consider the words of Jesus in John 15:5. He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Jesus did not suffer and die so that one day we would no longer need Him; He suffered and died because people do and always will need Him. Heaven is full of co-dependent people! 

In light of this, God’s people need to lean more upon the Lord than ever before. We need to show the world that strength does not mean having your life in perfect order, but rather submitting your life to God’s perfect plan.

Strength is falling upon the Stone and being broken (Matthew 21:44). Strength is abiding in the Vine because apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). True strength is revealed through weak people who cling to the Word of God and the grace of God, because the strong Christian is the one who knows how desperately he needs Jesus. 

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.