Every believer who follows Jesus and ever leader who leads people in today’s church must be growing, And changes come rapidly when we are growing. To grow into the fullness of who God has called us to be and thus what He is calling us to do – ‘being’ always precedes ‘doing’ – we need to be aware where we are at right now. This would include knowing ourselves really well knowing both our strengths and weaknesses. God builds on our strengths and uses our weaknesses. Remember, often when we are weak, His strength is best seen by others.
There are three questions we could be asking ourselves…
1> What Are My Strengths?
Growth and maturity come to us as we build upon our current strengths. Knowing our strengths is really important as we need to then focus on them and improve these ‘strength areas’ even more.
In the past, we were told to work on the areas where we are weak to improve them and make them into strengths. This is really not helpful as it takes a long time, a good deal of effort, and a lot of work. Seldom are we successful. And, because these are naturally weak areas we find ourselves trying to strengthen things that really are not who we are or the way we are wired. This is why they are “weaknesses.” You may go from weak to a little better than weak … meanwhile not taking the time to grow in the areas where we are already strong – fine-tuning our skills and abilities – thus working more effectively and efficiently. Bringing your weaknesses up to par is no longer considered a good investment of your time. It is better to work with a team and bring people on to the team whose strengths are your weaknesses.
So, know what your strengths are, continue to develop them, and bring others around you who are strong in the areas where you are not.
2> What Are Your Opportunities
I believe everyone has opportunities. I do, and I am convinced you do as well. The opportunities you receive may not be as big as you want. They may not be the kind that you want. But they are opportunities. What should you do with them? Apply your strengths to them and make the most of them.
The meeting of your strengths with an opportunity is where you get the chance to continue to grow, mature and develop your skills and calling further. Make the most of it. Even if it is not the perfect opportunity – and trust me, it won’t be, because there is no such thing – you can begin to grow and mature. Once you place your heart in the opportunities that present themselves then other, better, opportunities will present themselves.
3> Am I Taking Steps Every Day?
When you seize an opportunity and apply your strengths to it, you still have work to do. If you can’t answer “yes” to the question of whether you’re taking steps every day, you won’t grow and will again stagnate and not move forward into your destiny. Each day you need to spend time with the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, you need to develop your prayer life taking it deeper so it becomes more powerful and meaningful, you need to read a substantial amount every week – I aim for two books a week and always manage at least one. You need to journal your thoughts and keep in touch with your heart and soul.
Growth and maturity don’t just happen. You need to take risks, step out in faith, and continue to develop the person you are to become the person God destines you to become.
Thomas Edgley said, “Change or die.” I agree! The nineteenth-century preacher, Phillips Brooks, the author of the famous hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” wrote: “Sad will be the day for every man when he becomes absolutely contented with the life he is living, with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing, when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do.”