Strengthen Your Weakness(es)


If we're honest, most of us are well-acquainted with our personal "weaknesses." I quote that word because it's a little ambiguous. 

How does one define a "weakness?"

Ultimately, it is a trait, or the expression of a trait, that has a negative effect on your life or someone else's life.

You might not know you have a weakness until you are put in a particular situation--then the weakness is exposed. For instance, sports provide situations that are exceptionally good for revealing inadequacies in self-control.

I have weaknesses. Let's take absentmindedness. I forget stuff. Not just small stuff. I forget big stuff. And it's not that my memory doesn't function properly--it's that I occasionally lack focus and discipline to recall what is necessary. I don't beat myself up, but I know it's a weakness.

I recall some of my more obvious weaknesses from my younger years --tardiness, forgetfulness, flippancy, and other traits associated with lack of focus. Some I have improved on, and others not as much.

Then I thought about what God has done to help me with my weaknesses. God is very practical. Of course, He can do whatever He wants; but He doesn't typically help us with magical events and dramatic miracles. He uses real-life, down-to-earth, hard work type of stuff. 

Like if you ask God for more money, He usually provides you with a job opportunity, not a winning lottery ticket. If you ask him for wisdom, He reminds you that the church and the library are just down the street. He doesn't upload wisdom and knowledge to your brain like in 'The Matrix.'

One of my all-time greatest weaknesses (as I see it) is poor planning. 

I don't plan well. I suppose there are many reasons for this, and sometimes it's actually a good thing. I'm not stressing out over a five-year plan or a ten-year plan that isn't working out just like I envisioned.

But at times, my lack of planning can bite me.

What has God done to help me?

First, He gave me the most amazing wife--that just happens to be a planning fanatic. She's like to plan out how she will schedule time to make plans for her next big planning event. Planning just courses through her veins like oxygen; and when it is low, life is threatened.

I am sorta making fun of her--but just a little. Over the years we've balanced each other out. She stresses less, and I plan more. And I'm getting better at it.

Second, God put me in a field (science) that requires very rigorous and tedious planning. In research, my plans typically ranged from 1-2 weeks to the occasional 3-6 month experimental plan.

Then I got my current job--planning jumped to a whole new level. 

I've spent the last couple weeks wallowing around in a 200+ page plan for the production of a GMP-grade product. And that's just Phase 1 of the process. There are two after that. We plan exactly what supplies will be needed, how much, when they will be needed, and write in stone exactly how and when things will be done over the course of weeks or months.

It's an exercise that is teaching me to plan. 

And once a good, solid, well-contrived plan is put into action, everyone can breath a sigh of relief--life is better.

All of this points to one thing.

Be honest about your personality weaknesses. Identify them. Then be willing to work to strengthen them.

Tendencies are strong forces within us, but not stronger than our will power. If you decide that you ought to improve, then you can start pushing for that goal. As a Christian, I have a God that has promised to help me along the way; and He has.

Image credits:
Weight lifting guy image from http://jeannekolenda.com/dont-waste-time-on-weaknesses

1 comment: