What is Our Greatest Weakness?

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, ponders over this question.

When we forget about God’s power in our daily routine and worries, we become defenseless and helpless. We indulge in the illusion we are doing everything right in the hope that we can manage with the situation on our own, but it is only a short-term fantasy, nothing more.

Vanity makes us weak. Therefore, one needs to constantly check oneself, whether there is vanity hidden in one’s soul, or whether there are arrogance and confidence in the fact that even in the most difficult circumstances one can always find a way out on their own, which are cleverly hidden somewhere deep inside one’s heart, beneath the surface of the proper self-esteem.

In this case, a person considers themselves strong, and God’s power has no place in their life and activities anymore. However, the opposite is true, in fact.

It is hard to think of a weaker person than the one that relies only on their own strength. Vanity backfires on us. It blurs our vision and does not give us a chance to assess the actual state of affairs, the real situation. We become hostages to false perception, we become ridiculous and weak. The onlooker sees it the best, but it is impossible to reach out to a vain person: they are sure of their infallibility.

God is eager to give His helping hand to those, who realize their infirmity, filial dependence on God, the need for His power and help, to those, who are ready to leave behind their “I” and everything that feeds our self-esteem.

The remembrance of our weakness and incapacity and, on the other hand, the hope for God’s help and power should become part of our conscience and should not emerge only in the time of hardships and troubles that have befallen us. We should constantly think and care about our infirmities so that they do not cause melancholy, spiritual slackening, condemnation, irritation, finger pointing, and confusion. Our infirmities should remind us of God’s power, for which nothing is impossible in this world. It is His power that makes us truly strong.

Translated by Julia Frolova

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