Originally published Friday, 12 July 2013.
Ron and I were out to dinner Sunday evening when we broached this topic in conversation: our strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.
I know this to be true and see it in myself all too often. For example, my direct communication style is wonderful in pressured situations calling for quick decision making. However, add it to the mix during a disagreement or when trying to build rapport and people find it offensive.
Or, take for example, my need to do all things well. This is good if I am striving to work as unto the Lord and not man, but this also makes me highly susceptible to discouragement over even minor mistakes. Further, it leaves me very adverse to asking for constructive criticism in areas I would like to grow. These areas include writing, public speaking, and building friendships just to name a few.
What about you? Do you find that in your greatest strengths lie your greatest weaknesses? Are you fearful to seek out constructive criticism from trusted,respected, God-fearing individuals who know you well and have your best interest at heart? Remember:
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:5-6)
Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:27)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)
I am issuing a challenge to myself and you if you will accept. Compile a list of questions to give to one or two close friends that will address areas you would like to grow in. Ask these friends to honestly answer the questions so that they can help you to assess the areas you are excelling and those in which changes may be necessary. Pray over these questions and whom to ask them of. By the end of the summer raise the risk and see what comes of your humble request. The answers may surprise you.