When facing big challenges, we tend to focus on our limitations, not our strengths. God doesn't see it that way.
Posted in , May 8, 2019
Do you focus on your strengths or on your limitations? The answer is crucial in achieving our goals and succeeding on our own terms. We should not ignore our limitations as there is always room for improvement. But when we push past our shortcomings and focus on our strengths, we can accomplish much more in our lives.
There is a story in the Bible about Gideon, a man who focused solely on his weaknesses instead of on the opportunity he was granted by God, and he came close to missing his life’s calling. Gideon wasn’t a king nor a prophet, but a hardworking farmer who lived in a time of great distress and oppression for the people of God. One day, Gideon was going about his business as usual when an angel appeared to him with a message from God asking him to save the people from their enemies. The angel saw him as a “mighty warrior,” but Gideon couldn’t see past his own limitations.
Gideon wasn’t able to see his capability of leading his people to victory. He told the angel that his family was the weakest of the tribe, and he the least of his family. He allowed these social labels to define his ability to fulfill the mission bestowed on him. His energy was focused on perceived constraints instead of what he was capable of actually doing. He didn’t see himself as a “mighty warrior,” but as a defeated farmer. How we see ourselves is very different than how God sees us. Gideon went back and forth with the angel before he was able to accept that he was indeed a mighty warrior.
Have you ever felt unqualified for a new work assignment or leadership position? I have on many occasions. God sees our great capacity, talents and potential to do amazing things. Gideon’s story shows us that we must shift our focus from our limitations, real or perceived, to our strengths in order to succeed.
Gideon responded to his calling as a mighty warrior with a small army and won the war. We mustn’t let past failures, negative family history and personal struggles define our fate and success. As Coach John Wooden would say, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Believe you have what it takes, and with God’s help, all things are possible.