Weakness rarely receives praise, regardless of the sphere in which that weakness exists. In athletics, your opponent will study you to determine your weakness. The same could be said in a chess tournament. In other cases, weakness might refer to an illness that has left a person without strength. Regardless of the sphere, weakness implies vulnerability to attack. Therefore, we should consider this underlying theme when we read Paul’s exhortation telling us to “support the weak” (1 Th. 5:14). Christians have a ruthless enemy in Satan (1 Pet. 5:8), and like a lion stalking an antelope, the devil preys on weakness.
Weak Christians are those people who constantly require assistance and attention in spiritual matters in order to keep them from completely abandoning their Lord. They have had problems letting go of the life they led prior to their conversion (Col. 3:5-11), and after months and even years of opportunities to learn, they still have difficulty overcoming the same temptations they faced when they first obeyed. They may attend regularly or sporadically, but their weakness limits their involvement in the church because they never really committed to that new way of life.
Weak Christians need support from those who are stronger and more experienced in the faith in order to handle the problems inherent in life. But at some point, those weak Christians have to exercise their faith (Jas. 1:2-4) so that it might grow and stand on their own faith rather than being propped up by others. Weak Christians must move beyond “I know God says that, but...” to making their faith active and strong so that they might one day help others. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (Jas. 1:22).
by Kevin Rhodes