I used to believe that in order to be strong and successful, I needed to identify my weaknesses and work hard to turn them into strengths. I thought that if I took the time to concentrate on turning my weaknesses into strengths, I would be much more fulfilled in my life. However, maturity has caused me to change my opinion.
Over the years, I've learned that a confident person doesn't concentrate or focus on their weaknesses—they maximize their strengths.
Believe me, I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of working on your weaknesses. It's easy to become obsessed with them and expend a tremendous amount of energy trying to convert them into strengths. Of course the most obvious downside to focusing on your weaknesses is that you seldom take the time necessary to develop your natural strengths into skills and talents.
When I first started in ministry, I had a Bible study in my home. I wanted to do everything. In my mind, the best possible situation would be for me to play the guitar and lead worship, then teach from the Bible and pray for everyone in the group. I saw others play the guitar and lead worship and determined that this was something I wanted to do as well. I wanted to do it all. I wanted to be one of those "all around" people who could sing, play guitar, preach, pray and run the whole thing…all by myself.
Of course, if I was doing everything, I wouldn't need anybody else. And as an added feature, I could get all the glory for hosting a wonderful Bible study. I was a mess!
Well, after only a few days of working on the guitar, it was obvious my fingers were too short to be able to play well. The problem was that they weren't long enough to reach around the neck of the guitar. I tried taking some lessons, but that didn't help. I tried and tried but just couldn't get the hang of it. Music was definitely a weakness for me!
I'm convinced now that if I had stuck with the guitar, I might have been able to do okay. But on a scale of one to ten, I know that I would never have done better than a six or seven—even at my very best. And you know what? The world isn't looking for sixes or sevens…the world is looking for—and needing—nines and tens!
If you will take those things that you are naturally gifted at and work at them, hone them, and develop them, you can be a nine or even a ten. And that is what the world needs. Why focus on your weaknesses when you have real strengths that the world needs?
Let's look at a verse from the New Testament. Second Corinthians 12:9 says, …For My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness… (The Amplified Bible). No matter what you might think, God's strength and power are actually made perfect in your weakness. When you are weak, you give God the chance to show how strong and powerful He really is. When you rely on your strengths, you tend to leave no room for God and take all the glory for yourself.
When you come to the end of your own strength, that's when God's strength kicks in. It may be your weakness, but it is His strength!