17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned in advance, be on guard so that you aren’t led off course into the error of sinful people, and lose your own safe position. 18 Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.
We have chosen a set of goals to “deepen the spiritual vitality of all Resurrection members.” That’s because accepting and living into God’s wonderful, life-changing gift of grace is not a “once and done” experience. We can never become indifferent about parts of life in which we need further growth. The gift of grace gives us a climate of love in which we keep growing closer and closer to our gracious God.
Lord Jesus, give me the gift of honesty with myself, so that I can recognize where I need to change. Show me the places where you call me to grow in your amazing grace. Amen.
* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letters of James and Peter (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, pp. 350-351.
** Christopher Green and Dick Lucas, The Message of 2 Peter and Jude. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995, p. 157.
“Do you have any weaknesses?” That’s perhaps the most feared interview question of all time. I was a hiring manager for eight years. I never really asked this question, not because it’s a bad question, but just because so many people are spectacularly bad at answering it. The things people try to pass off as answers to this question are hilarious, but also enlightening in all the wrong ways.
“I’m just too much of a perfectionist.”
“I work so hard that I never take breaks.”
“I was such a leader on the team that I made our manager redundant.” (Yes, I actually heard that one once. The guy was not a leader.)
If you ask a random street fighter what his weaknesses as a fighter are, you won’t get an answer. But if you ask some of the best MMA fighters what their weaknesses are, they’re going to have some very specific things they know are weaknesses. They’ll know if their crosses leave their chest open for a counterattack, or if they have a tendency to flinch when a blow comes in at a certain angle. They’ll know exactly where they’ll falter. And you’d better believe that they have a contingency plan for when that happens.
There’s a story of a traveler who journeyed far to seek wisdom from a wise sage. When he found the sage, he asked her what made her so smart. “I have made ten thousand mistakes,” she replied. Perplexed, the traveler asked her how that’s different from everyone else. Her reply: “Most people make ten mistakes a thousand times each.”
When employers ask questions about weaknesses, we’re trying to gauge self-awareness. The best employees learn from their mistakes. If an interviewee can’t think of any mistakes or weaknesses, it’s a safe bet that they’re not going to own up to and learn from their mistakes, and that means they’ll keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I’d much rather hire an employee that makes ten thousand mistakes than one who makes ten mistakes a thousand times each.
We spend a lot of time looking at our spiritual gifts and strengths—and those are very important—but there’s also some value in looking at how we describe our weaknesses. Do we know what our weaknesses are? Do we have plans for staying safe when they’re triggered? Do we have the self-awareness to know what we need to work on, or just avoid altogether? Or are we like the interviewees above who make every effort to hide our weaknesses?
One of the biggest parts of growing spiritually is no doubt discovering and learning how to effectively use the gifts God has given you, but knowing what you’re bad at can be vital as well. It’s never a bad thing to know how to avoid the pitfalls that come along with your weaknesses, and that can’t happen unless we’re open—with ourselves and others—with what those are.
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