Big idea: Weakness is a badge of honor for the slave of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 11 must be one of the most sarcastic chapters of the Bible. The apostle Paul critiques the Corinthians with praise: they are willing to put up with false prophets, false gospels, false teaching, and even a false Jesus. But what they would not tolerate was Paul loving them, humbly serving them, and working day and night to minister to them for free. It was to their shame that they boasted about all the wrong things and were fooled by appearances, instead of recognizing the heart. But Paul gets down to their level and offers to brag since that is all they seem to understand. His bragging must not have been what they expected.
He explained that he was a better servant of Christ than the false teachers. Why? Because he had been imprisoned more, beaten more, hungry more, and naked more. He was weak and his heart burned when anyone was caused to stumble. He rejected the arrogant attitude that cares only about personal power and is unconcerned with the hearts and feelings of others. Those things do not make a great servant of Jesus. Greatness in the Kingdom is being like the King, who laid His life down for us.
So if we want to brag, let us brag about our weakness. Let’s talk about the sinner that God would still use. Let’s praise Him for His ability to draw straight lines with crooked sticks. Let’s remember who the power really belongs to.
Discussion Idea: What is an area of weakness you can praise God for? How has God used your weaknesses to make you depend on Him?
Prayer Focus: Thank God for the things you came up within the discussion idea, specifically.