By Lisa Lashbrook
This Week’s Verse: 1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually.” (NIV)
Devotion: I attended Women of Faith in Portland, Oregon recently. Shelia Walsh, author and singer stated that talking was one of her gifts, but as a child people would smack her gift. We all got a good laugh but really there is so much truth to that. Why don’t we focus on our own strengths and continue to build on them? Instead, we seem to try to improve our weaknesses.
Gallup Organization, states in 2000 people focused 59% on their weakness and 41% on their strengths. In 2009 people focused on 55% focused on their weakness and 45% on their strengths, just a 4% difference in 9 years.
As an example, what would you do if your child came home from school with their report card reflecting an A in English, 2 B’s, a C and 1 D in Math? How would this change your conversations? I can bet that every night at the dinner table there would be a question asking, “Do you have your Math homework done? How was Math class today?” Before the child goes to bed, again there is a question if the Math homework was completed. As a parent would you hire a tutor for your child?
However, throughout the night, do you think a question or comment could be made about the English class or the 2 B classes? Would there be a compliment made on how well the child was doing in that field? Would you pursue an outside activity where they could enhance their specialty field? Would you encourage them to be involved in a spelling Bee, Bible bowl, or just be a help to other children in need?
This happened to us when our children were in grade school. One of them was having trouble with Math and we hired a retired schoolteacher to come to the house one night a week. She was a sweet lady and was so beautiful in her interaction with the kids. It didn’t take but just a few weeks and we had a better understanding of the subject. It was definitely worth the investment because it built confidence again in my child. I discovered that my child learned easier from the tutor than the teacher. Maybe that was what my child needed - a fresh face to help understand the subject more clearly.
I can’t remember how much we verbally dwelled on this subject, but I do know it didn’t consume our focus. We dealt with the subject it and then moved on.
But I have to stop and think - did I really pursue their strengths? Sure, Kelli got “Most Improved” softball player, Clint was a baseball pitcher and did well in golf, and they both loved going to Awana. But on a day-to-day basis did I always have their strengths in my best interest or was I always concerned about “improving” their weakness for a well- balanced child?
I know I don’t have any strength on my own, it is only by letting God work through me. The Lord would like to work through you too!
Father, help us to find our strength through you in every aspect of our life! Help us to look at our strengths and dwell on those more than our weaknesses. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Applications: List 5 strengths in your life and share them with others.
1 Samuel 2:1 "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation.” (NIV)
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!” (NIV)
Psalms 28:8 “The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.” (NIV)