Hi. Here we are again. It’s Monday. And I’m at a real computer fixing to write a real post. ABOUT WEAKNESSES. BOO! HISS! I much prefer to focus on my strengths. Which is pretty easy for me.
I would have to say one of my top strengths is being awesome at focusing on my strengths. Hmmm. AKA being a little cocky. In fact, I am so arrogant, that I don’t even think I’m arrogant! But since I’ve been told I am by multiple people throughout my life (hi, Intro to Law Teacher. hi, Friends. hi, Husband.) I reckon they might be on to something. I have always preferred to think of myself as confident and bold. Which, I guess I am on a good day when I use my gifts right but confidence and boldness turn into arrogance and aggressiveness when I’m not paying attention.
See how that works? Lately God has been showing me some things about strengths and weaknesses and how sometimes our strengths are our weaknesses. Stay with me. The things we are naturally good at, that God has gifted us with, are the things we do not look to God to help us with. You think I ever ask God to help me be bold? Nope. I just charge right on. And then I charge right into a big old mess and break things and say something mean. Without even trying. Skillz, y’all.
Here is what I have been thinking. Our gifts, (You can take the spiritual gifts test here if you’ve never done so. Would you be surprised to know mine is exhortation? Didn’t think so.) the areas we naturally excel in, maybe those are God’s gift to others. They are the ways we can help people. And maybe our weaknesses are God’s gift to us. They are the areas we need to depend on Him for and when we depend on Him, our faith grows. We can have peace. We don’t have to worry and be anxious about our weaknesses if we know that God can use our weaknesses just like he can use our gifts.
I was pondering on these things when this image came to mind of a person’s body with their weaknesses as holes. Parts we are missing. Those are holes that the Holy Spirit can fill in. He can make us whole where we lack. All we have to do is let Him. Look what happened there! The HOLY Spirit can make our HOLES WHOLE. Ha.
When I was in college I had a class, I think a leadership class, where we had to read StrengthsQuest. Basically, you take a test and it lists out your top five strengths. Then, it gives a little description and advice for each strength to tell you how you might best develop and use that strength. I thought it was great – I loved it. At the time, Spencer and I were dating and so I bought it for him for his birthday. The whole idea of the book is for you to learn what your strengths are and to get very, very good at them instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses. The authors explain that the areas you are naturally weak in are areas that you will never excel at but most people focus on their weaknesses when trying to improve. They advise just bringing your weaknesses up to an acceptable level and focusing on building your strengths to extraordinary levels. Otherwise, people improve their weaknesses and neglect their strengths and then they end up mediocre at both.
I think this is a good strategy. God wants us to use our talents to our fullest ability without ever becoming prideful in them. I have to remember that anything good I have comes from God. But also, I don’t have to feel stressed out about the things I’m not good at. God can handle those for me. He can help me be good enough in them or he can steer me around situations altogether. Or, he can shine a real bright light on those weaknesses now and then to remind me I need Him.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”- 2 Cor 12:9