We all have strong points and limitations. Strong points are the stuff that we depend on to get us through life. Some people have a strong will. Others have determination. Some are analytical. Some stay calm in difficult situations. Weak points usually tend to be our Kryptonite. It could be anger. Or inaction. Perhaps laziness.
Personality tests usually show us what our strengths and inadequacies are. My strengths are stuff like I’m easy-going, faithful, reliable, relatively unaffected by my environment, reserved, peaceful and generally self-content and kind. Add to that a few others like consistency, being relaxed, rational, curious, observant, dry sense of humor, compassionate, good listener, determined and gentle.
My weaknesses are that I have difficulty sharing my feelings, tend to be to idealistic, indecisive, selfish, lazy, careless, sarcastic and resists change. I resent being pushed. I get extremely frustrated with people that dwell on trivialities. Add to these the shadowside of each strenght and there is a lot of stuff to repent of. 🙂
The thing is, I’ve always considered my weaknesses as the stuff that made God sad and angry and it is those things I should struggle against. And it is this constant, everyday battle. Add to this our hidden sins, and we have a lot of fighting everyday. The Bible tells us to be vigilant. We have to put on the whole armor of God. And in the background we hear the refrain that says: This is not how a Christian should look. This is not how a Christian should act. This is not how a Christian should respond. So we try to be better. To be pleasing to God. We do our best. During this struggle, we have our strong points to help us. We look at them as our gifts that God gave us to help ourselves and others. We fall back on what makes us strong.
There is only one problem. It is not our weaknesses that are the main barrier between God and us. It is our strengths. They are the things we depend on to get us through. We use them to plan our lives. We fall back on them when life gets tough. They make us look “not broken”. What is left when our strengths are taken away? What will we give Jesus when nothing is left?
Jesus said in Mat 16:24. “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
The cross has to do with dying. It involves the whole person, and “yes”, that includes our strengths. Are you experiencing a “place” where you are hopeless? Where all your plans are as dependable as walking on quicksand? Where your strengths are crumbling? Well, that is usually a place where we can either surrender, or keep fighting to keep us alive. Usually we fight with every fiber in our being to stay alive. With surrender, we come to a place where we have to trust our Father. It is a place where we, like Jesus, will ask “where is God?” But like Jesus, it is a place where we will say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!!” The cross is a place of surrender, trust and rest and dying. It is the worst place to be. It is the best place to be. It is a place that frees us from ourselves. It is a place where God is found in disappointment, failure, frustration, collapse, and disillusionment.
That includes being freed from what makes us strong.