If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)
Accentuate the positive!
That phrase is a ‘catch word’ of sorts in marketing. It’s a sound principle that encourages those in business of any sort to evaluate what is the most important and valuable thing you have to offer.
Competition in this economy is brutal. Regardless of what industry you are in, there is someone else trying to steal a part of your market. The best strategy to take in this situation is to evaluate your strengths and capitalize on them. This gives you your best chance of success. Do the best you can in your areas of strength. Worry more about what you can do and less about your weaknesses.
The same philosophy is true in our personal lives. It’s easy to get caught up in self-destructive attitudes and, as a result, take yourself ‘out of the game’.
Statements such as, “If I didn’t have so much debt” or “If I hadn’t gotten divorced” or “If he hadn’t hurt me” or “That church destroyed my faith” do little to help your opinion of yourself and shackle you to an attitude of failure.
The books written by the Apostle Peter were really letters written to a group of believers who may have lived in the worst period of oppression and persecution the Church has ever known. They were being beaten, had their homes taken from them, were being portrayed as stupid and evil and were being killed for their faith.
The dangerous conditions must have been devastating and demoralizing for those early believers. Yet in the midst of their agony Peter challenges them to do everything they do in the strength that God provides. That little phrase, “in the strength God provides” is the key to our being able to survive the turmoil life hands us.
It’s not our strength that will see us through. It’s not a perfect, holy past that will grow our faith. It’s not a stable marriage that will give us opportunities to see God work. It’s not a strong financial base that will allow us to do great things for God. Our ability to speak, write, fix things, build relationships or amass a fortune may impress people, but it won’t impress God and it won’t lead us to make eternal differences in our lives.
Our weaknesses won’t thwart us; our strengths won’t give us an advantage, the only thing that will really make a difference in our world is allowing God’s strength to work within us. We aren’t asked to go beyond our ability, we are only asked to live up to it. Our ability and God’s strength. An undefeatable combination.
PRAYER: Lord I thank you for the promise that your power is all I really need to do your work. You have empowered me with many gifts and abilities. Please help my gifts to be open for your power so you can work through them. Amen