We all have strengths and weakness; things we are good at and things we are not so good at; talents and the opposite of talents.
Some have the gift of speaking, others don’t. Some have musical talent, others don’t. Some are organized or administrative, others aren’t. Some can remain calm and do well at dealing with adversity or stressful situations, others easily get anxious and are not the best at dealing with adversity or stress. Some are good at saving and using money wisely, others are not (they are good at spending money).
Everyone has strengths. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone is talented and good at some things, and not talented or good at other things.
Often, we work hard to guard against having to deal with our weaknesses and things we aren’t good at…which makes sense, because why would we want to deal with our weaknesses and what we aren’t good at? We wouldn’t. So yes we will guard against having to deal with our weaknesses.
But, do we work hard to guard our strengths as well?
This is a question that until recently, I never really thought of. I knew I was supposed to guard against my weaknesses, but why would I guard my strengths? They are what I’m good at, so why do I need to guard them? Shouldn’t I seek ways to use my strengths as much as I can?
Yes, we should seek ways to utilize our strengths and do things we are good at. It is good to find a job that utilizes our strengths, and have hobbies that we can use our talents and abilities in. But, we must also make sure we guard our strengths.
Because if we are not careful, our strengths can become a weakness for us as well.
Let me give a few examples to explain this…
Someone who is very compassionate and kind to others, if they don’t also guard how much compassion and kindness they show, can begin to allow themselves to be taken advantage of by other people. Yes, it is important to be compassionate and kind, but it is also important to know when to stand firm, know when to say no to someone, and even know when the compassion and kindness is negatively enabling another rather than helping that person grow and mature. Being compassionate and kind is a strength, but it needs to be guarded so it doesn’t also become a weakness.
Someone who is very good at budgeting and managing money, if they don’t also guard how controlling they become with that money, can begin to allow themselves to not be generous as well. If the control of money gets to the point where being generous is seen as a weakness, or an inability, then being good at budgeting money has become more of a weakness than a strength. Generosity is a good thing, and we all need to learn to be generous at times. On the flip-side, generosity can also become a weakness if we are too generous and don’t manage our money in order to be able to live and pay our necessary bills…so it’s all a balancing act. But, being good at budgeting money, if not guarded, can become a weakness.
Someone who has the ability to lead others, if they don’t guard their heart and mind, as well as the level of influence that comes with their leadership position, can begin to allow themselves to lead through pride and arrogance rather than with humility and an attitude of serving others. Leaders are important to have, and if it’s done well a leader will often receive recognition by others. If a leader is not guarding their heart in all of this, then their leadership abilities become more of a weakness than a strength, as they are leading with the wrong (or perhaps a better word is misplaced) motives. Being a good leader is a wonderful strength, but it needs to be guarded so it doesn’t also become a weakness.
There are many other examples, but the point is made. The question I want to end by challenging you with is this: Are you guarding your strengths so they don’t become your weakness? Are you making sure to not let your strengths get the better of you and begin to control you, rather than you remaining in control of the use of your strengths?
Guard your strengths, so they doesn’t become your weakness
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (Colossians 3:12)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. (1 Timothy 6:17-18)
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve… (Mark 10:45)