I don’t know about you but I struggle with the idea of naming my strengths. It seems like bragging at times and hypocritical.
For every strength I may list is a time that I can think of when I didn’t use one of those strengths for good.
For example, I think one of my strengths is encouragement, but I can list countless times when I didn’t or wouldn’t encourage my own husband in something he was doing.
The very moment that I pen my strengths I feel convicted about all the times I have failed at using them.
So it is easier to look at myself in the mirror and list off all of the ways that I have failed.
But God doesn’t want us to live like that. Condemning the beautiful way that He created us, individually unique.
When I was chosen to be a part of Holley’s God Sized Dream Team, one of the first “assignments” that she gave us was to come up with 3 of our strengths.
She made it easy for us and gave us a list of possible words to choose from. (See her book You Are Already Amazing)
Some were obviously not my strengths like adventurous, athletic and brave.
Others stuck out at me right away. Things like encouraging, sensitive and supportive.
The focus in picking your strengths is not to puff yourself up but to recognize those very things that God created you to be. Those things that come naturally to you – regardless if you mess up and don’t use your gifts all the time. The exercise is meant to hone in on those things that will help chart out the direction God has for you.
If being adventurous and brave are not my strengths, God is probably not calling me to be on The Amazing Race sharing the Gospel as the Christian on the team. Ok that maybe seemed farfetched but you understand my point?
No, my strengths seemed a bit more subdued if you will, but they are things that I could develop and use right here in my own community, in my presence online.
I have a bit of a bleeding heart. I hurt when I hear about the hurts of others. I pray for people that I don’t know because I can’t imagine the pain they might be feeling. Without thinking I typically find ways to encourage others – cheer them on in the dreams they are following.
God created me this way. I can use these strengths to further His kingdom. Because in the end it isn’t really about me anyways is it?!
Today I challenge you to sit down and think about the unique way that God has created you. It isn’t bragging but instead recognizing that God made you with specific gifts. Gifts that can be used for His glory. Gifts that can be strengthened and developed to follow God’s dream for your life.
This is as good of a time as any – so get to work! 🙂 Writing out your strengths is the first step in dream following. It may be difficult for you, as it was me….but once you discover those gifts it opens up the door to so many wonderful things!