True Strength

“. . . ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

— Zechariah 4:6

Some people have made the gym their second home. These people go to fanatical lengths to get their bodies in shape. I’m not devaluing caring for our bodies; in fact, I get my share of exercise. But some people make an idol of physical strength, cultivating beautiful bodies to glorify themselves.

But which one of these persons do you think is better equipped to help others: a person who works out with weights all day, developing huge muscles, or a person who is poor, weak, frail, and unmuscular? The answer isn’t all that clear. A strong person may be more capable of helping people; for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger may be more physically capable of helping others than frail and tiny Mother Teresa. But it does not follow logically that he has acted to help more people than she. In fact, she has had an immeasurable impact on many people’s lives.

Many of the world’s greatest people haven’t been strong, muscular, or even healthy. Nor have they had great wealth. But they have had to struggle with monumental problems, and through their struggles, they’ve learned to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength. Jesus tells us that “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Nowhere do the Scriptures say that the spoils go to the strong, to the cunning, or to the wealthy. In fact, they often say the opposite. Paul makes a similar point: “When I am weak, then I am strong” and “God has chosen the weak things of this world to shame the strong.” Why is that? When we rely on our own strength, then we get the credit and the glory. But when we are weak and helpless, we rely on God to work through us, and the results glorify Him.

Acknowledge your weakness today, give up your efforts to succeed on your own, and allow the Holy Spirit to use you. As you do, you’ll experience true strength—God’s strength working through you.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
nothing so gentle as real strength.”
St. Francis De Sales