Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/28/2017

Jeff Grisham

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

 

  Job interviews have always made me nervous, even though it has been a long time since I have had one. I suspect that I am not the only one. There is the initial meeting of those people whose job it seems is to scrutinize our every word and movement. There always seems to be some form of the question, “So what do you see as your strengths?” This is usually where we try to put our best foot forward and talk about what we see as the assets we can bring to the organization. Then there is the dreaded “What do you consider to be your weaknesses?” Let’s be honest; none of us want to answer that question. We do not want to tell our perspective employer about all of our failings. So, we dress them up as best we can and try in a confident and believable way to indicate that we really have no weaknesses.

 

  Too many times, this attitude is found in our churches. We have weaknesses; that is for sure. But we dress them up, hide them, deny them, and hope that no one finds out about them. It seems like the right thing to do because if people were to find out about our struggles, our weaknesses, or our failures, they would probably not think as well of us as they did before. And, there is the real problem. We are far too concerned with how we look.

 

  We find a corrective for this in Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."– 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NIV.

 

  Paul speaks of this treasure that we have. It is the treasure of the reconciling work of the Gospel, or as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 3, the ministry of the new covenant. God put this treasure in ordinary, flawed clay jars in order that God would be seen as the source of our strength. I’m not saying that we should be unconcerned with how we are perceived by those outside of Christ. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t try to hide the fact that we are hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down from time to time. It is in those times that we can be a witness to the strength and faithfulness of God as we praise him for the fact that we are not crushed, despairing, abandoned, or destroyed.

 

  May God bless us and help us to recognize and display Him as the source of our strength and not act like we’ve done it on our own.

 

—Jeff Grisham