In the past, I’ve taken lots of pride in being a highly independent person. As any wise person knows, pride goes before a fall, both literally & metaphorically. So when I’ve thought that being independent was a strength, I’m growing to appreciate that it can also be a weakness. I’m learning that independence becomes a weakness when I separate myself from people, when I don’t ask for help, when I don’t allow others to contribute in teamwork and improvements. Unfortunately, I’ve had to fall down, fail and face inadequacy to accept the reality that my independence isn’t a strength as much as it can be a weakness for me.
I’m being vulnerable with this lesson because there’s a good chance that you might have a few things that you consider to be strengths. It’s possible that these perceived strengths could be weaknesses for you, maybe. Consider some examples:
Is external beauty a strength at the expense of cultivating interior beauty? Of course these don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but it’s a good question to consider in both ways of interior & exterior beauty.
Is dependence a strength when cultivating one’s internal fortitude is dismissed?
Is discipline a strength when it accentuates achievement at the expense of intimacy or people connection?
Is Bible knowledge or proper theology a strength without God’s love to soften our words, actions and attitudes?
Sometimes we can lean on our strengths so much that they can become weaknesses without realizing it! Let’s keep Paul’s words about boasting in weakness from 2 Corinthians 11:30 as a central theme in our daily living! “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”
This morning I read about how the Jewish leaders were mad at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. Whenever I read these kinds of exchanges between Jesus & these religious leaders it always twists my stomach & I’m repulsed by their petty & nauseating posturing.
Doing good shouldn’t be relegated for certain days or religious traditions. Doing good should be infused into our redeemed DNA. I want my first reaction when I see someone broken & needy not to be grounded in religious piety but rather rooted in genuine love: instinctually consoling & improving – with divine Help & my own resources & abilities.
I recently had a birthday & it was AWESOME!! I loved all the kind thoughts, quality time & fun gifts – all very wonderful!
But today is a different day & could have some interesting challenges. You & I have days of joy, stressful days & days with surprises, good & bad.
Regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen on any given day, let’s keep the mindset that today is the day that the Lord has made, a divine gift with abundant opportunities to see / experience God’s presence in a myriad of ways. May your day be overflowing with awareness that God deeply loves & cares for you 24/7 🙂
Today is the day that God has made so let’s decide to rejoice & be grateful!
When i was growing up, i always wanted to be smart. i’ve always had LOTS of respect for smart people, even brilliant people. If the truth be known, i have probably idolized brains & intelligence. I married a REALLY smart man & only now am i coming to realize how smart he is , mostly through my kids. Isabell & David are presently wrapping up their 2nd and 1st grade school years, respectively. As such, they’ve done some of those nationalized / standardized tests from time to time throughout the year & they’ve done really well. Now i know that my husband is UBER brainy because my kids intellectual achievements & apptitudes are WAY BEYOND my abilities. They didn’t get all these brains from me – they got their intellectual abilities from their dad. Now i’m not saying i’m stupid, but i’m also quite clear on my limits.
In the past, this discovery would have made me feel inferior & insecure. But today, i’m quite happy w knowing this & i don’t have any qualms with this reality and here are 2 reasons why:
i’ve let Jer 9:23-4 become a central premise for my life: let not the wise, nor wealthy nor strong man boast in his wisdom, wealth or strength. but let him who boasts, boasts that he knows Me. My pursuit to be smart when i was younger has morphed into the desire & pursuit to know God. This principle has become the guiding foundation for me & my daily living.
Brains is not equal to good; intelligence, moral values and genuine “good” are not all the same thing. i know super brainy people who have been deeply wounded through life and consequently, while they’re still brainy, they’re also very hurtful because of the deep hurt in their hearts. While my kids may be uber smart, i pray that they would know Jesus’ love & have a deep & richly satisfying relationship w Jesus. Brains without compassion, a moral compass or love can be nothing more than accessorized pain & even tyranny.
Its good to be smart, but its even better to live in the pursuit of a deep & vivacious relationship w God