The image of strength in weakness is found throughout the Bible, most often in the Epistles.  It recently occurred to me that the same idea of finding strength in our weakness can be helpful in pursuing improved health and wellness.  In our case though, it’s not so much a matter of finding strength IN our weakness but identifying our weaknesses and finding ways to use our strengths to overcome them.

For example, one of my weaknesses is that if I get up in the morning and sit in my favorite rocking chair (yeah, I’m old!) I’m not likely to get out of that rocker until I absolutely must in order to carry out the responsibilities of my day.  Having that weakness, though, I have developed the strength to go directly to my garage/gym immediately after making my coffee in the morning.  Once in the gym, I am likely to do at least some kind of exercise rather than rock away mindlessly in front of the TV.

I also know that if I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, I will probably be too weak to discipline myself to do it later in the day, even if I promise myself I will.  Recognizing that weakness is another reason to muster up the strength to work out before I have a chance to change my mind.

If one has a weakness for eating junk food when they see it sitting within easy reach, they can use their strength in times of resolve to put the tempting morsels out of sight.  Better yet, shop when feeling strong and don’t bring home anything you don’t want to indulge in when you feel weak.

Perhaps your weakness is a tendency to become reclusive and/or unwilling to let others share your burden when life starts to get overwhelming.  Your weakness may be overestimating your strength in dealing with the stress of life, especially during trying times like the past year or so.  If that’s the case, recognizing that weakness can give you the strength, if even for a moment, to make appointments with appropriate professionals or simply make arrangements to meet with a trusted friend to talk about what’s going on your life.  When making those arrangements, ask the others to hold you accountable to the plan.  Borrow their strength to help you overcome your weakness.

For 12-step groups, the first step is often admitting weakness, powerlessness to overcome the addiction on one’s own.  In one of our traditional orders of Confession and Forgiveness, the

first step is confessing that we are “in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves”.  To deal with the everyday weaknesses we all face when it comes to improving or maintaining our health and wellness, we need to identify our weakness in order to find the strength to help us overcome it.

Strength in weakness is possible.  Do what you want to do, not necessarily what you feel like doing, you may be surprised at how strong you really are.

Pr. Jim Person