Achilles’ Tendon

Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed (Psalms 6:2).

Perhaps you have heard of the story of the man named Achilles as depicted in Greek Mythology. He was a man who apparently had no detectable weaknesses. He was portrayed as a warrior of warriors, undefeated in battle, until the day his weakness was discovered. A valiant archer discovered the weakness of Achilles and shot an arrow into the tendon above and on the backside of his ankle--severing his “achilles’ tendon” and dropping him to the ground--dead.
You may or may not have your own “Achilles’ tendon;” a sin weakness that would beset you in an enormous and devastating way. But chances are, and are most likely, that you have a sin weakness just as we all do. It may be something that seems to always get the best of you, or it may be something that sneaks up on you once in the while in the heat of a moment. But what your weakness is, is not nearly as important as what you do with that weakness. For just as with many things in our walk with God, how we respond to our circumstances is far more important than the circumstances alone.
There are many methods we employ to deal with our personal sin area weaknesses. Some ways are good and others are not so good. We could probably start making a list right now of many ways that we can think of that people deal with their weaknesses; and our list would probably be heavily weighted toward the bad methods used. For it is often more difficult to come up with the good, or see the good in people--which in itself can be another human weakness. And certainly what we will find to be an interesting phenomenon, is how many of us would quickly pinpoint the weaknesses of others; while somehow overlooking our own. For the very weakness and fragility of the human ego often demands casting ourselves in the better light; and that is a demand to which we often yield.
So what are some of the wrong ways we deal with our sin weaknesses? One way is to simply ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. Yet we know that our sin weaknesses are like a cancer that eats our bones, and just like a cancer, our weaknesses will not go away if they are avoided, ignored or denied. Our ignoring our weaknesses may stem from fear to face it, or a denial that is a result of pride. In either case, it will require the acknowledgment of our sin weakness, confessing it to God, and quickly getting His help to overcome the fear or pride, or whatever else would lead us to cover up the weakness, rather than dealing with it. It’s like having an infected sore that you cover with a bandage and hide beneath your clothing without ever treating it or cleaning it. It will continue to fester and to be a problem, and it will never simply go away.
Coddling our sin weakness is perhaps one of the easiest, wrong ways to respond to them. We pamper our weakness and hold it carefully, afraid it will cause us pain if we leave it unattended. We guard it, but not in a manner as to defend it while it is dealt with. Instead, we find ourselves looking on it in a self-pity kind of way--telling ourselves we must learn to live with the sin weakness--and certain it will never go away. This is the response of the perpetual victim, rendered helpless as a result of a besetting sin and never able to envision victory over the sin in this life time.
Now let us consider how a warrior would deal with his weakness. He will do his best to conceal the weakness from the enemy. He will hide it behind his armor and he will take special care to ward off attacks that threaten to expose his weakness; and he will go out of his way to avoid encounters that will open him up for him to fall as a result of his weakness. He will advise his closest comrades of his weakness so that they will be ready to come to his aid when the weakness looks like it will get the best of him. His friends will stand ready to defend him as though it were their own lives they were protecting. But only because they have been made aware of his weakness, and understand his need. The warrior also has God. God is his Protector who watches over him and helps him to overcome what he cannot see and much of what he can. God is his Defender who blinds the enemy and disables the enemies efforts. And God is his Commander who can prepare his way so long as he follows and is loyal to his Lord’s commands.
We are to be the warriors in the army of the Lord. We have our sin weaknesses, but they do not have to beset us. We cannot ignore, avoid or deny them for they will not simply go away. We cannot coddle and baby them or they will persist. But we must confess our sin weaknesses to the Lord and find in Him the strength to overcome. We must advise our close brothers and sisters of our downfalls so they can lift us up in prayer--for the good of the whole army of the Lord. For if one falls in the front line of battle, how many shall he take down with him? And how shall any stand once the “Achilles’ tendon” is severed?

Further Scripture:

2 Chronicles 15:7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work
shall be rewarded.
Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Acts 20:35
I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Romans 15:1
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
1 Corinthians 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

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