Devotional

Beware, Strong One

Ready 

“God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!”
-1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (MSG)

Set 

NBA legend Michael Jordon once said, “My attitude is that if you push me toward something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” The competitor’s mindset is always to turn a weakness into a strength. They are in constant pursuit of getting better. However, on the flip side, no one would ever think of turning a strength into a weaknesses. But beware, strong one. Your strengths can quickly become a weakness without any warning if you are not careful.

One of my life principles is that your greatest strength often becomes your greatest weakness.  My greatest strength is passion; however, when I have too much passion, I just become spastic! When our strength is out of balance or used in excess, it can have a negative effect. It is wild to think that the very thing that you are good at or the very gift that God blessed you with can become a weakness. A friend of mine says an unguarded strength is a double weakness. How true that is! A strength, gift or skill can not only lose its impact, but it could take you down. One of my favorite devotional writers, Oswald Chambers, says it best: “The Bible characters fell on their strengths, never on their weaknesses!”

We also can develop a leak in our strength department if we are not careful. Strengths are like muscles. We use them and develop them to become stronger, or we ignore them and watch them disappear! A strength, value or character trait without accountability, balance or usage can become a dangerous strength. Instead of something that is meant to be a blessing for God and others, it can bring pain and hurt.

As athletes and coaches, our strengths must have balance in order for them to be a blessing. Many times our strength needs something else that grounds it, stabilizes it and maximizes it. 

For example:
Friendship without loyalty … is dangerous.
Teamwork without trust … is dangerous.
Power without humility … is dangerous.
Integrity without transparency … is dangerous.
Serving without sacrifice … is dangerous.
Love without passion … is dangerous.
Life without purpose … is dangerous.

The Lord wants us to be self-controlled at all times, even when exercising our strengths. Make sure that the strengths God blessed you with become a blessing. Use them to bring glory to God on and off the field of competition. As Paul writes, “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is.”

Give God the glory!

Go 

1. What is your greatest strength? Ask three friends what they think are your strengths.
2. When used right, how does it bless God and others? When out of balance, what does it turn into? What kind of effect does it have on others?
3. How does Satan use it to bring harm and pain when it is out of whack?
4. Looking at the examples above, what does your strength need to be grounded with?

Workout 

Romans 12:3-8
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Titus 1:7-9

Overtime 

"Lord, I pray that You will use my strengths. I ask that each gift, ability and strength that You have given me becomes a blessing to others, not a curse. I ask You, Lord, to ground each strength You’ve given me. I pray for wisdom to know that they are Your strengths, not mine. Thank you, Lord, for Your direction and leading in my life. Remove my pride so that my strengths will not be perverted or distorted. Flow through these gifts. Take what is natural and turn it into supernatural. Thank You, Jesus.”