Tension & spiritual gifts / strengths…

There is always tension in the Christian life. If manifests itself in millions of ways. I am noticing it as a conversation piece here on this blog. New category? I think yes! I was recently given a book by a good friend and pastor of mine. (I have like 20 different pastors :: I love all of you!) But this pastor (twitter @allalspals) gave me the book Living Your Strengths. A kind of spiritual gifts / strengths assessment and encouragement book.

This book wants to teach people to live into their strengths. It established some lines between strengths, gifts, skills, knowledge, talent… this gives it a new twist to an old idea. Which is primarily about figuring out who God created you to be.

:: QUOTES :: “When you enhance a talent by adding the right skills and useful knowledge, you have created a strength.” “Remember that God has given you a unique combination of talents. God also places within you a calling -- a calling to serve others and advance the cause of the Christ and the Church, a calling to ministry. Your calling is what God wants you to do with your life; your talents and strengths determine how you will get it done. When you discover your talents, you begin to discover your calling.”

I mostly agree with the premise being given here. I do think God has created each of us in very particular ways and it’s wise to figure that out and live into it!

The Tension

Yes, there are plenty of places where we can find this idea of spiritual gifts and the fact that God has given each of us particular gifts and talents to edify and push forward the Church, to further the Kingdom.

But you can also find a strong current in the scripture where people are called to live into their weaknesses. To trust God in the midst of their inability and lean on God’s absolute ability and strength.

It’s the counterintuitive idea of a “weakness revolution” or something like that. The idea that in our weakness His strength is made perfect. That in our inability God’s great ability is put on display.

We can talk about a “Strengths revolution” as this book wants to pitch to us. But does the bible talk more about a “Weakness revolution”? I think about the story of Moses.

Maybe both sides of this tension need to be lived out by those who follow Jesus. We need to live into our weakness… We also need to live into our strengths…

To be that person who God has created you to be but also fine ways to not run but rather embrace your weakness so that God can be put on display in the midst of them.

I am not trying to push either side of this tension but I think in our intuition of living into out strengths we can forget the counterintuitive stream we find in the scriptures.

LIVING and hoping God is put on display in all of it!