Monday, July 6, 2015

Devotion 7.6.15

There was a movement (in fact, it may still exist) in management in which the theory was this:  upon evaluating an employee and setting goals for the employee, minimize words that suggest weakness, including words like weakness.  Instead, use words like "areas for improvement," and in doing so, talk about the strengths of the employee as means to improve ("your strengths will help you overcome said areas of focus").  What rot.

When I was a musician, taking lessons from a master musician, she never insisted that my strengths be used to overcome my weaknesses.  In certain passage in which there were a thousand notes stuffed into four bars, all of them with markings around them indicating sharps, flats, naturals, increase sound, decrease sound, pick up the speed, etc., she didn't say, "Use the bars before that where you really have the piece mastered to overcome this difficult passage."  No, we beat that dead horse until I could play it.

The great management guru, Joe DiMaggio, said the same thing when an interviewer asked him how he became a great hitter.  "I overcame my weaknesses.  I've heard people say that's not what you say anymore, but that is silly.  You cannot become great until you overcome weaknesses."

As followers of Christ, we should use the word freely.  Paul does as he speaks of his greatness in 2 Corinthians by speaking of his weakness. "So, to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh....Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (12:7 - 8)

The explanation in the study bible is perfect, "Christ's almighty power works great things through feeble instruments" (like my clarinet). Do you know what and where your weaknesses are?  Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we have them mastered, but they are there.  They are our true vulnerabilities.  We may not be able to master them.  We may need to learn to cope with them, but they exist, and we look to Christ for strength in learning to deal with them.

Pray for Christ's strength as we seek to deal with weakness, and that the weakness give us pause to know that we need to turn to Christ and seek his strength, grace, and mercy.

Hope Men's Ministry

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