A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

What are your strengths?

posted by Linda G. Howard

Danielle was the first.  Even though she was only 16 when she first came to help with Special Gathering, she recognized my weakness; and she began to keep guard over my personal things while I was ministering to our members at Special Gathering.  Because she worked with us for more than a decade, she came to read my habits.  She understood better than I did where I would drop my pocketbook, Bible and teaching materials.

This Sunday morning, I had four people picking up after me.  We had an indoor picnic for The Special Gathering members who are intellectually disabled.  Our missions is evangelism and discipleship of this vital community.  For our parties, we ask everyone to bring a dish to share.  In reality, most of our food is brought by our volunteers.  Like all of the Special Gathering volunteers, I brought extra food.  I also was responsible for all the serving ware (plates, fork and spoons, napkins) and the table decorations.  The back of my van was full of food and paper goods.

Because I love to cook and I’ve accumulated tons of inexpensive recipes, I enjoy bringing four or five dishes.  There were about 75 people who came to eat.  At times like this, my things become scattered and disorganized.  Even during ordinary days of ministry, keeping my “stuff” together is one of my greatest challenges.  For years, the Lord has provided me  with Danielles who understand my weakness.

When family pressures forced Danielle to leave us, the Lord sent other volunteers who functioned the same.  I’ve marveled at their abilities in taking care of others in such practical ways.  While, there are strengths I have that they may not possess, I cannot do my job without their help and service.

Each of us should recognize our strengths and use them.  However, we too often try to ignore or bypass our weaknesses.  Because we can’t do everything, we may allow our weaknesses to play against our insecurities.  Of course, we would never proclaim our strengths as gifts that give us extra virture.  Nevertheless, at times, Christians believe that their weaknesses are sin.

A personal strength does not make us more virtuous.  And a weakness does not make us more sinful.  Oz Hillman, a successful businessman whose organization ministers to business leaders, confesses that he is not at all mechanical.  His best friend is a mehanical genius; but his friend is terrified to speak and teach in public.  They make a great team, helping each other and ministering to each other’s deficiencies.

Of course, when we find a weakness in ourselves, we should strive to develop it.  However, it is equally important to use the gifts and callings of others to fill in the gaps of our needs.  If I am doing everything, then others are not able to use the skills and gifts that God has given to them.

What are the things you do well?  Where are your weaknesses?  Are you able to use others to help you when you are dificient?  Are you a person who sees needs and ministers in practical ways?  Do you understand how valuable you are in the life of others, especially leaders?

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