"To keep me from being conceited..." (2 Cor. 12:7)
Paul wrestled with something in his life, something he calls a "a thorn." Some people think that this "thorn" was some sort of persistent sin. Others think it was a physical ailment. Still others have theorized that that the "thorn" was a person or a group of people (ex-wife, legalists, etc...).
We don't have to figure out which of these it was. What I want to focus on is Paul's explanation for his experience of his thorn.
After years of experiencing this thorn, Paul sees it as a God-given defense against his own conceit. He receives revelation from God, has a powerful and meaningful ministry and sees himself as needing a little something to keep him from forgetting his place.
Our weakness keeps us dependent on God. Whether our weakness is physical, sin-related or relational, God can use it to help us remain in right relationship with him.
What would happen if we rejoiced in our weaknesses, rather than hiding or denying them?