Weekly Thought – July 16, 2019
Fred respected his gifts and worked diligently to nurture them. Principle-based thinking allowed him to apply wisdom to diverse situations. Even until his final days men and women came from great distances to ask him questions. When the website (www.breakfastwithfred.com) began, one element was an Ask Fred column. After hearing the question, he would dictate an answer which appeared on the website.
Bob Tiede develops leaders for Cru, business, and other ministries. His appreciation of key questions is a major part of his lifework. Check out his website: www.leadingwithquestions.com
The time for repair and refreshment arrived this year for both websites. Please pray for wisdom as we make decisions about the direction, the sources, and the content. Thank you. If you can financially support this undertaking, we will gratefully receive all gifts.
“Fred, how can a man conquer his weaknesses?”
“In the first place, he never will. It is fundamental humanistic thinking that asserts man is perfectible…he is not. In fact, I was very much interested in one of the ancient mystics whom I greatly respect saying God leaves sin in people’s lives so that they might remain humble and it also gives man an opportunity to see God’s work. It also lets us see how flawed we are and how very far we are from perfection. I don’t know how this fits with my Southern Baptist teaching, but the idea intrigues me.
You have to be sure you are clear when you talk about weakness on the difference between human mistake, and sin. A human mistake can usually be corrected with good effort and intention. Sin has to be dealt with through confession and repentance. There must be a turning away through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you say “weakness,” are you thinking human mistake or sin?
One caution: be careful not to call sin a mistake. I believe very much in prayer and asking for the Spirit’s help in the struggle against human frailties which are sin.
Also, I must ask tell you about two questions I ask myself: “What are my constructive strengths and what are my destructive weaknesses?” If what I see as a weakness is not destructive, then I don’t spend much time working on it because I found the energy expended on a minor weakness could be much more effectively applied to my productive strengths. I am convinced the things I do well, I am much more eager to do than focusing on overcoming weaknesses.
I repeat: when you talk about overcoming weaknesses are you talking about skills, or character flaws? Training programs can be designed for one, but the other is strictly dealt with on a spiritual basis. Make sure you understand how you are defining weakness, then handle it appropriately. But if it is not destructive, don’t waste your time trying to improve when true progress is made in the area of your strengths.”
This week think about: 1) How honest am I about defining my destructive weaknesses? 2) What energy am I applying to my constructive strengths? 3) When do I feel tempted to call sin a mistake?
Words of Wisdom: “I believe very much in prayer and asking for the Spirit’s help in the struggle against human frailties which are sin.”
Wisdom from the Word: “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NET Bible)