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Romans 15:1 (Pt. 2)  Thought/Prayer:  Weaknesses and Strengths.  Topics:  2 at end.

“As for us who are strong, our duty is to bear with the weaknesses of those who are not strong, and not seek our own pleasure.” WNT (Read these scriptures and more at

There should be no misinterpretation of this scripture in one particular way:  Weakness does not equal insignificance.  There are various translations or paraphrases of this scripture, and some speak of “the weak.”  This version does not term anyone as “weak,” but with weaknesses.  The general gist of this passage can be thought to include those with mental challenges such as mental retardation. 

Of course there are many kinds of “weaknesses,” whether it be someone’s inability to balance a checkbook, throw a good football pass, or keep track of household routines and schedules.  But when it comes to those with mental deficiencies, we might say, deficiencies that render them unable to totally function in life’s arena, weakness may be a word in opposition to reality.

Sometimes, as in the scripture, “. . . God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;. . .”  (I Cor. 1:27)(WEB).  At first glance this scripture may seem out of kilter, as we say; things don’t seem to balance out here.  But think of it:  How many times have you seen something on TV about the accomplishments or the thoughtfulness of someone with mental challenges . . . and you were impressed with the strength of either their resolve or their compassion?  This is weakness?  No, not at all. 

Those who were born with many challenges for just making it through life on Earth are sometimes the strongest individuals:  They overcome.  This is not to say that they do not need help – sometimes a lot of it, particularly if there are great physical challenges with which to deal.  But still . . . they get up every day and do as best they can . . . and those who know them often admire them so.

Are these challenged individuals always sweetness and light?  No.  They are not.  They have emotional ups and downs. They hurt.  They irritate. They complain.  What’s so different about that?  Nothing, obviously.  But do those of us more “able” persons deal with things any better, often times?  Probably not.

Those who have the most to overcome in life are often those who are the strongest, even though others may need to help them more than the average amount.  But keep going they do.  This is strength; not the weakness that might in some instances be seen in this scripture.

Lord, how we do thank You and praise You for putting in our midst those who may appear weak but who may be the strongest among us, for sheer grit if nothing else.  Help us to learn from their example.  Help us to help parents who know they will birth a child with a disability – help us to help them see the worth in all individuals being formed in the womb.

Topics:  Pray for the wisdom to appreciate those with all sorts of handicaps and to pass this wisdom on to parents who are debating whether to birth a child who most likely will have them.
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Posted by Gail Richardson on 08/19 at 07:41 PM
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