We all have strengths and weaknesses. I believe God gives us both, and therefore, I am grateful for both. It’s natural to think of a strength as an asset, but what about a weakness? What if the most valuable asset God has given you to steward is not a strength, but a weakness?
We often think about, invest in, and play to our strengths. No doubt, they are good gifts intended to be used to serve others in love. However, we have a natural tendency to get off track and serve ourselves with selfish motives. That’s why our weaknesses exist. They are a counterbalance to keep us humble and grounded.
Before we go any further, we need to put what I mean by weakness in context, as I do not mean sin. J. I. Packer, in a study on 2 Corinthians, explains it like this:
The idea from first to last is of inadequacy. We talk about physical weakness [including sickness and disability] . . . intellectual weakness . . . personal weakness . . . a weak position when a person lacks needed resources and cannot move situations forward or influence events as desired . . . relational weakness when persons who should be leading and guiding fail to do so — weak parents, weak pastors, and so on.J. I. Packer in his book Weakness Is the Way, pages 13-14.
Therefore, we are talking about weakness as an inadequacy or limitation caused by something in our life that places us in a weak position. Perhaps we were born with it or perhaps the root cause was a relational failure, meaning someone hurt us or stunted us.
I used to plead to God to take away my weakness because I saw it as a liability. However, as soon as I understood His purpose for it, I saw it in a whole new light: a priceless asset disguised as a liability.
Now, I clearly see my “thorn in the flesh” was given by God so that I may live up to the life which He called me to live. I happily receive my weakness, as well as insults, hardships, and persecutions, as assets gifted to me by Him, of which I need to be a good steward, alongside my strengths.
In the parable of the talents in the Bible, Jesus tells a story about each of us being given “talents” to steward (Matthew 25:14-30). They are assets of value and are different for everyone. Some of us are given more. Some less. No matter what we’re given, we’re to invest in them by doing God’s will according to our ability. That’s what being a good steward means. Some of these talents are our strengths and abilities. Some of them are our weaknesses, i.e., inadequacies and limitations.
Learn to play to your weakness because He has given us them not only to increase the invaluable treasure of humility but also to maximize our return-on-investment of what He values most: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6b)