I read that 3M’s invention of the Post-it Note was an accident. As the story goes, it was the result of a batch of poorly developed adhesive. The adhesive was so weak and unreliable that it sparked the idea for temporary adhesive.
As it turned out, its weakness was its greatest feature.
This story leads me to think of a verse penned by the Apostle Paul. He was complaining about a prominent and deeply personal weakness. God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Astheneia” is the Greek word the Apostle Paul uses to describe this weakness that plagued him. I found out that our English word “asthenia” – meaning “loss of strength, weakness” – originated from that Greek word. (I gotta be honest and tell ya that I had NO IDEA that there was an English word called “asthenia,” and I sure as heck wouldn’t have known what it meant. But that’s not the point.)
This is the point: The Post-it Note’s success can be attributed to it limitations rather than its power or strength.
I attribute my “successes” in life to my limitations rather than my power or strength. How’s that possible? It’s because my greatest successes are the result of my limitations coupled with Christ’s power. I’ve found myself frequently praying this little Post-it Note prayer… God, if there is any way You could use a weak and unreliable person, then I’m the perfect one for the job.
I gotta confess that I personally lack in stick-to-it-ive-ness. My life is a batch of poorly developed adhesiveness to the life God saved me for, called me to. I’m hampered by a recurring case of chronic asthenia. (Cool. I just used it in a sentence…). Like a Post-it Note, I am weak and unreliable.
For example, I don’t naturally fight my way through tough times. When the storms of life begin to blow, I tend to flitter away like, well, a Post-it Note in a tornado. When the high winds of adversity and temptation subside you just may find me still hanging in there, but know that it was His finger that held me in place. A powerful God showered me with the grace to stick with it.
Here’s my idea: Take a moment to admit to a weakness. I challenge you to write down your most prominent weakness. Don’t write it down on just a random piece of paper or even your journal. Write out your glaring weakness on a Post-it Note.
On the reverse side of the same Post-it Note, write the word G-R-A-C-E. Write “grace” over and over in the same spot, retracing those 5 letters until they start bleeding through onto the other side. Now consider your weakness, but this time with God’s grace bleeding through.
In that verse by Paul that I cited earlier, he said that he “boasts” in his weakness. He doesn’t just admit to weakness; he boasts in it. In other words, Paul thought his weakness was worth writing on a Post-it Note, and sticking it in a prominent place for everyone to see.
When my weaknesses point to Christ’s power and God’s grace, my weaknesses become my greatest feature. And that’s worth boasting about.