And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. Ether 12:27-28
If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble...
Over the past few years as I have begun to wake up to my awful state before God, He has shown me many weaknesses. At one point I fell down, overcome, and sobbed to the Lord, begging Him to give me one day of peace only to have the following day bring more trials and struggles.
Life has calmed down and I am not beset by constant awareness of my many shortcomings. While not an overwhelming, daily disclosure, there are still moments when a weakness is brought to my attention.
Since I can remember I have struggled with having close friends. I seem to have a little bit of what psychologists term “detachment disorder”. I recognized this early on in my marriage when we started having children and so I have consciously worked on overcoming it in regard to my husband and children and now grandchildren. However, I’ve never really taken the time to work on it in regards to my extended family and outside friendships.
If a person proves a bit difficult to be friends with, or is not my ideal friend, I usually slowly fade away. I’ve even faded away from good friends because I just don’t take the time to make sure to stay friends and involved in their life.
This weakness is also manifest in my easily feeling “left out”. When people I would like to be friends with seem to regard me as other than a close friend and especially when I find out they are getting together or “hanging out” with their friends and not me I get easily hurt and pull away, finding myself not wanting anything to do with them.
A recent example is that my husband and I are on a team of individuals who are working together on a project we see as assigned by the Lord. The majority of the people on this team are all very close friends. We are friends with most of them, but not close ones. It’s like there is an inner circle, which we are not part of, and then the outer circle of friends which we are loosely on. When we hear that the inner circle has gotten together or when they make decisions together that we are not involved with I find myself pulling away and not wanting anything to do with any of them.
The other day one of the team members sent me a personal email that was a bit condescending, opinionated and rude. I was pretty hurt and found myself not wanting anything to do with any of them or with the team any longer.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, my husband has the same weakness. When he read this same email he was pretty upset and protective of me. It made him also want nothing more to do with this team of individuals. As he turned to God for comfort the idea was impressed into his mind that we need to stope wanting people in this life to like us, to think well of us, etc., we just need Christ, Jesus.
We have a big spiritual event this weekend which I have been excited to go to until recently. I made plans with some people who are on that outer circle also only to find that they changed hotels from the one we are at to a different one where one of the “inner circle” is staying and made plans to get together with those people. I find this ironic. Like God is testing my husband and my resolve to focus on the Savior instead of ourselves.
It bothered me for a bit and made me want to stay home this weekend. Instead we have determined that if we feel this way, there must be others who also feel this way; we need to stop thinking about ourselves and focus on reaching out and finding those who need our kindness and attention
Christ said, “I will show unto them (the gentiles) that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness”. This is who I am seeking, after all. I am seeking friendship with the Lord, who is the fountain of all righteousness. As a gentile, He has given me weaknesses to humble me and to help me to develop the faith, hope and charity to come unto Him which is the mercy I desire to receive. Perhaps this weakness of mine will become a strength if I can repent, forgive, and think more of others than myself.