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Strength or Weakness? January 6, 2007

Posted by amybeth in Deep.

I read a quote today: “Like Eve, we want to feel smart, but nothing is more ignorant than choosing man’s intelligence over God’s.”

I’ve never heard what Eve did characterized as wanting to feel smart, but take away the first two words of the quote, and the rest struck me. This is an area of great weakness for me. I’m known as fairly intelligent, but that’s not always a good thing, as many times my intellect can get in the way of my relationship with, my dependance on God.

I’ve struggled with the question of how we can be good stewards of the gifts God has given us yet not rely on them above our reliance upon God. To deny the gifts and not use them does not seem to be the answer. But what is?

Here are some examples to make the paradox clearer. Someone has an intuitive gift for music, the ability to play an instrument with skill and to lead others in worship. How do they know where the line between just playing with skill and leading by the Spirit is? For someone who wasn’t skilled at music, leading people into worship would clearly be all God, but for the talented one, the distinction can become blurry, only identifiable within his or her own heart. For me, I am very good at researching, considering the pros and cons of an option, and intellectually weighing things. But my heart longs to be led by the Spirit of God. How much is my use of this skill glorifying the one who gave it to me, and how much is relying on the gift and not the giver?

Today, when I read the above quote, I remembered how it is often said that a person’s strength is their weakeness. I know that my strength, my analytic ability, can also be my weakness because it won’t hold up in situations where God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. If I depend on it then, my intelligence will fail me. So, somehow, there must be a submitting of every strength to God, to be used under his guidance.

So…how does the gift remain servant and not master? I haven’t solved this yet, haven’t found balance, but my desire is to be led by the Spirit of God. Any other stories of strengths that can be weaknesses and how you’ve surrendered your gifts to be used of God as  he desires?



1. running pastor - January 9, 2007

i used to worry that my talents would get in the way of depending on God. that’s probably because of the many sermons i heard warning that God would call you to a place you did NOT want to go, and to a place where you had NO IDEA what you were doing.

i’ve changed. i think God gave me the gifts, and when i stay in relationship with Him, i assume He will work through those gifts. AND…when i find myself in a place where i feel over my head, my prayers are a little more desperate, haha.

but i don’t want to paralyze myself, as i worry about whether or not i’m leaning on God enough. i assume He created me to do things that would glorify Him. (eph. 2:10)

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