Growing up I was often made fun of for being a rambunctious kid that couldn’t sit still or obey very well. I even overheard my second grade teacher complaining to others about how difficult I was. And whenever I felt intimidated or hurt, I felt provoked to fight, rather than flight. But my response always created even more trouble for me.
When I was in sixth grade, there were two older boys who often waited by my bus stop for me and my little brother to get home from school. They were a lot bigger than us, and as mean as rabid pit bulls. They rode their bikes in circles around us and called us names while we walked home every day. It didn’t bother me to be called names because I could hurl flaming insults right back with the best of them. But when they started getting physical a vicious fire rumbled inside of me that spawned an evil spirit of revenge in me, so I devised a plan to retaliate.
Most of us have probably heard the infamous quote that Uncle Ben advised Peter Parker when he discovered the teenager had supernatural powers and became Spiderman. He urged, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That insight helped Peter understand that his newfound strength and abilities should be used to help others…not to be squandered or utilized for personal gain.
God has gifted all of his children with talents and abilities that should be used to serve one another in this world. And the Bible is full of verses that teach us how to do so.
So then, what does 2 Corinthians 12:9 mean when Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness?” Paul responds to that by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Why would God give us each different gifts and talents, but then want us to be excited about our shortcomings?