It is human nature to, as they say, "put our best foot forward". We do this to present ourselves in the best light possible. In some cases it is out of respect, while in others it is to gain some advantage. There is nothing wrong with doing this. But like all things, if this becomes unbalanced, it is not beneficial, it does us harm.

There are times when the process of "putting our best foot forward" is confused with holding back our weaknesses. In this case the whole purpose of putting our best foot forward is actually an attempt to conceal our weaknesses. We do this either out of shame or to gain an advantage or to be someone or something we are not able to be.

But this fact remain; when we shield our weaknesses from the world, we at the same time also cut ourselves off from much of life and even from those we love most and who love us most.

As a coach of a girls 18U Gold Elite Premiere Travel Fastpitch Softball team, we have a saying that governs our play; "You are not prepared to practice unless you are prepared to become uncomfortable." There is a simple reason for this rule and it has to do with human nature. All of us prefer to do those things that we are good at. It is not only more fun to do those thing we are good at doing, but it is also because these things are easier for us to do. Likewise, we do not like to work on our weaknesses because it is hard. Hence the tendency for us to shy away from those thinks we struggle to do. And those things we struggle with include our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:15 speaks to this truth when it says, "For we do not have a high priest that is not able to be touched with our infirmities, one who having been tested in all things, similar to our pattern, except without sin."

The Greek term συνπαθῆσαι is translated "identify with" but literally means "to be touched with". The idea is God, in Christ, not only knows our weaknesses, He has also actually touches them and is touched by them. This allows God, in Christ, to identify with us, even at the very point of our most venerable weakness because he also, walking the earth as a human, encountered those same conditions.

Again, in Hebrews 5:2, there are two very powerful and instructive Greek terms; μετριοπαθεῖν     and περίκειται. μετριοπαθεῖν is translated "compassion" but literally means "to moderate one's passions and hence to be gentle".  περίκειται is translated "subject to" or "beset with" weakness but literally means to "be encompassed" or "to wear" or" to be wrapped in".

Translated with the above meanings Hebrews 5:2 reads, "He is able to moderate his passions and hence to be gentle with the ignorant and those who have wandered off the true path because He Himself is wrapped with the same infirmities (weaknesses) that we have."

Because He is wrapped in the same infirmities as we are He is able to moderate His passions and hence to be gentle with us. From this perspective, since God knows our weaknesses, and we are not able to hide these from Him, He is able to touch these and in this love us fully.

But what about others in our life? What if we hide our weaknesses from them? Does this make us more or less loveable?

According to this Scripture, when we hide our weaknesses we also hide that part of ourselves that another could fulfill or support. In so doing we prevent them from loving us fully at that point, at that moment.

Take my players. As a coach I am there to make them better. And not just in that part of the game where they are strong, but precisely in that part of the game where they have a weakness. My job is to locate the weaknesses and then work to correct the weaknesses and in so doing make them a better and stronger player. By doing this there is a sense in which I know all their strengths and weaknesses but I do not use the weaknesses against them I use these weaknesses to take care of them, respect them and make them better.

When we hide our weaknesses from those we love we prevent them from supporting us in our need and prevent them from loving us fully. In addition we prevent ourselves from being able to love others in their weakness.

So to be touched by the love of another we must touch our own weakness. For to love is to be wrapped in weakness.

© 2013, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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