Knowing Your Strengths Helps Define Direction and Purpose for Your Life. – Ray E Horton
I took a strengths survey for work and realized that it is good to find our strengths as long as we acknowledge the One who put them there, and to trust in Him for our spiritual grow which affects how we live. Knowing our strengths can help define or confirm our direction and purpose in life.
Even some secular personality tests, strengths locators, etc. must be effective. The strength-finder survey which I took at work-was by Gallup. It was quite thorough with 177 questions. I can relate quite well to the results.
Out of 34 signature themes that people have in life, it identified five that are my life themes:
- 1 Connectedness – It says I believe that while we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. My awareness of my connectedness with others makes me to be considerate, caring and accepting. It says I am a bridge builder for people of different cultures…you can give comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. …your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries. That’s good, I thought, for a secular instrument recognizing not only matters of faith, but their value.
- 2 Developer – You see the potential in others…each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. (This is particularly true of me in the spiritual realm). It says I like to see people’s potential being realized. It says that, over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.
- 3 Belief – With a strong Belief theme you have certain core values that are enduring, causing you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics – both in yourself and others. These core values…give your life meaning and satisfaction…They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. (Of course, they don’t understand that it is Jesus Christ within me that guides me through). Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful…
- 4 Input – You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information – words, facts, books and quotations… yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity… you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable. I like discovering and compiling revelation from the Lord, and not only does that help me and those I share with now, it will prove valuable as I write some books later.
- 5 Activator – It is only action that can make things happen… Once a decision is made you cannot not act. Others may worry that there are still things we don’t know, but that doesn’t seem to slow you once the decision has been made… in your view, action and thinking are not opposites… you believe that action is the best devise for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the results, and you learn.
Some of this I might not of thought of myself, but I believe it is at least a partial description of some of my natural tenancies, modified by the Lord in my life. In fact, I believe all Christians will show many strengths on instruments such as this.
We cannot use the excuse, “that’s just the way I am.” We are not meant to stay the same
I remember a few years back finding that surprisingly no one personality type seemed to dominate after taking temperament tests based on the four temperaments described by Tim LeHay. But I realized then that there had been definite temperament focuses earlier in life. I believe that is true of all of us. Maturity brings strength in the positive areas of all temperaments, and a dropping off or reduction in the weak areas. We mellow and become more tolerant of others and have increased qualities to draw on.
One thing this tells me is we cannot use the excuse, “that’s just the way I am.” We are not meant to stay the same, but to grow in who we are as people. nWe are to take on more of the fruit of the spirit in areas where we have been weak, or more accurately, we allow the fruit which is in the Lord who indwells us to come forth.
- Have I been shy? I am not doomed to be that way – I can become bolder in the Lord.
- Have I been selfish? I can become a giving person.
- Have I been fearful or a worrier? I can grow strong in faith.
- Have I been critical? I can be become more tolerant and understanding.
- Have I been cynical? I can become hopeful and enthusiastic in Him, and so on.
Our fleshly lives may resist growth and change and improvement, but in Him we can become all that He wants us to be if we’ll put our trust in Him, renew our minds in the Word, and have intimate communion with God, through Jesus in the Holy Spirit. We can stop trying to do it by ourselves, allowing Jesus to live through us. His grace is sufficient.