Hey, it’s not just me. You’re a wimp, too, right? At least, in something? Sure, we all have weak areas, and it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls when addressing our weaknesses.
I mentioned last week how it’s unhealthy to just overlook a weakness. Well, another common temptation is to obsess over the weakness. Maybe I “confess” it a lot, complain about it, or focus tons of attention on improving it. Any of those can be unhealthy, too.
Sure, when the weakness is a sin, I must take action and address my sin. Absolutely. That’s what I talked about last week.
But what about a weak spot that’s not a sin? Shouldn’t I try to strengthen every weak area of my life?
Let me answer that question with a true story.
Focus In Self Improvement
To improve reading skills, a Nebraska school system tested the effectiveness of different speed-reading techniques. When they checked the results, they did not find any reason to prefer one technique over another. But they did find something else quite interesting.
See, the slowest readers started out reading at 90 words per minute. The best started at 350 words per minute.
Here’s where things got interesting. The slowest readers were able to improve their speeds by 67% — from 90 words per minute to 150. Now this improved speed was still less than half the rate that the fastest readers had when the study started. Don’t miss this. Before any training, the naturally skilled students were reading with more than twice the speed that the slowest readers reached after their training.
Slow readers improved 67% with training. Find out what the same training did to fast readers.
What do you think happened to those fast readers when they took the same training? They began at 350 words per minute. How fast do you think they read after they started using one of the new techniques?
“Those who were already strong saw a greater improvement with the same kind of investment.”
Would you believe they improved by more than seven hundred percent?
That’s right. More than 700%. While the slow readers increased by only sixty-seven percent, the fast readers increased their reading speeds from 350 to an astounding 2,900 words per minute!
Improvement Is An Investment
This study is but one example with one kind of skill. Still, with a test of six thousand people the evidence is pretty good. Those who were already strong saw a far greater improvement with the same kind of investment.
“And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.”
— Matthew 25:15
Now, think of the talents God gave you.
When you invest your time and energy to become more effective for Christ, are you intentionally growing those areas where you’re already strong? Or are you neglecting your skills, hoping your talents will hold their value while you use your energy on your weaknesses instead?
But My Ministry Needs Skills Where I’m Weak
God may call you to a ministry that needs a strength where you have a weakness. What do you do then?
1. Obey Like Gideon
God called Gideon to an impossible task. Gideon’s leadership was weak. His military skills were weak. Honestly, even his faith was weak.
But when Gideon saw that God really did give the command, he didn’t take a self-improvement course to get ready first. He just obeyed.
2. Delegate Like Moses
Moses had a hard time obeying at first. He simply felt too weak in his speaking ability, and he wasn’t afraid to tell God to His face. When he couldn’t bring himself to simply obey, God helped him delegate the public speaking – to his brother Aaron.
Later, when the burden of judging the people grew too great, Jethro advised him to choose godly men to serve as judges. Moses delegated most judgment to them.
“…this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.”
The early pastors had the same burden, and their solution was the same. They delegated to deacons.
[box]Delegation is one of the hardest productivity tools to use, and it’s a topic that deserves far more attention than I can give it in one section of this article. For now, let me ask a few questions to help you be creative in your delegation.
- Are there any administrative or non-ministry tasks you can delegate to a new believer, or even a non-believer?
- Is there another pastor or missionary with a strength in your area of weakness?
- Can you trade favors and help someone else in an area where you have a strength?
- Are there lay people in your church, or in a supporting church, who could lend their strength?
- Can you pay to delegate your weaknesses to technology, to a service organization, or to some hired help?[/box]
How can you delegate your weaknesses so you can be more effective in your strengths?
3. Trust Like Paul
What if your ministry demands a strength you don’t have and you can’t find a way to delegate?
I’ll be honest, that’s exactly how I feel with Edify Hub. In my heart, God has planted a vision so huge that it seriously frightens me. What I believe God wants done needs many skills I simply don’t have. I’ve delegated some, but many others still leave me puzzled.
So what can I do when I don’t feel up to what He has assigned? Walk away? Accept a job poorly done?
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:9
When I’ve accepted the call and delegated what I can but I still feel too weak, that’s when I must follow Paul’s example. I must trust that God’s grace will give me the power to do His will just when I need it. Then He will get the glory for the results.
Paul chose to “glory in [his] infirmities.” He was proud of his weakness like a parent is proud of a child. Not with sinful self-serving pride, but with the recognition of a job well done.
Can my weakness magnify God’s strength? Well, that’s a weakness I can be proud of.
Now it’s your turn.
Leave A Reply below, sharing either a strength that you choose to invest in or a weakness that you will try to delegate.