Don’t Sleep On “Weak” People

By: Patrick

People we perceive as “weak” could be the diamond before pressure is applied. I don’t know where i would be if i was given up on and labeled weak when i was going through a tough time. Obviously, not everyone wants help and we cant do anything about these situations until that individual see’s their need for help. The people i am talking about here are those who are willing to work through their “issues” and get the help they need. I think we have all learned that it is almost impossible to help someone who doesn’t want it.

Let me ask you a question: When you think of Paul, Jeremiah, Elijah, David, Joseph, Moses, Samson, and Peter, what comes to mind?

Does the word weak come to mind? I highly doubt it, yet the way we define “weak” these days, they probably would have been described that way. We might have given up on them, we might have passed them over when opportunities came up, we might have discarded them. These are the heroes of our faith and more than that:

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

Ephesians 2:19-20

Our faith and “God’s household” is partly built on their teachings. The people God give this responsibility to had to be some pretty “sharp”, “strong”,  “non-emotional” people, right? Think again.

Paul:

“or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. “

-2 Corinthians 12:7

Paul was “tormented” by something. Although there are many theories out there, many theologians have proposed that the “thorn” is some type of mental illness.

Jeremiah:

“17 I never sat in the company of revelers,

   never made merry with them;

I sat alone because your hand was on me

   and you had filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my pain unending

   and my wound grievous and incurable?

You are to me like a deceptive brook,

   like a spring that fails.”

-Jeremiah 15:17-18

Jeremiah feels alone, always in pain, and felt deceived by God.

Elijah:

He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

1 Kings 19:4

Elijah had suicidal thoughts and even prayed to God that he could take his life and it could all be over.

Joseph:

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

-Genesis 37:23-24

Joseph dealt with some serious trauma and abuse in his youth. These are some pretty traumatic events and we know that they left a lasting impression on him when we see him confront this many years later:

Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.

-Genesis 43:30

It is obvious that the trauma of what happened didn’t just go away.

David:

“Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;

   no one is concerned for me.

I have no refuge;

   no one cares for my life.”

-Psalm 142:4

A case can be made that David was bi-polar (at worst) and extremely emotional (at best). As we read through his psalms and see his life, we see the highest of highs and the lowest of low’s

How would these folks be treated in our society, in our places of business, in our churches? How would the very “fathers” of our faith be received?

Why do you think God uses people with more “cracks”? I believe it is because when he works through people such as these, he gets more glory and more people will find out about him.

According to the book, “The Jesus Priorities” by Christopher Maricle, do you know what Jesus’s number 1 priority was? It was healing. How are we doing with helping the people we know with their emotional, mental, physical healing process? How are we doing with encouraging people to seek help, to ask the right questions to get to the bottom of things, being patient and sensitive when people don’t think like us.

I will be the first to confess that i have beaten my head against the wall at times trying to figure people out. I am not saying there is never a time to put up boundaries when people no longer want your help. However, i wouldn’t be the man i am today if people gave up on me or chalked me up as “too emotional”. People invested in my progress and in helping me heal from my past. As long as someone is willing to get help and work through their “weaknesses” we should be very careful not to write them off.

Don’t give up on someone who hasn’t given up on themselves.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:10