“Since you… judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles.” Acts 13: 46
Dr. Donald Clifton is called, “The Father of Strengths-Based Psychology.” He spent more than 50 years researching and developing a mechanism to help people recognize their personal strengths. The research led to the creation of a personality inventory called, StrengthsFinder. It has become a favorite personnel tool of corporate America.
Dr. Clifton felt people spent too much time trying to correct or improve on their weaknesses. StrengthsFinder helps people identify their strengths. Then, by focusing on talent, it would encourage people to become more productive workers and healthier individuals. Some psychologists criticize the inventory for not placing enough emphasis on weaknesses.
I have not done a lot of research on this topic. However, based on my years of working with people, I feel we are not in danger of placing too much focus on positive attributes. Just because children receive participation trophies does not mean they are being inundated with positive reinforcement. All forms of positive reinforcement are still left to battle the voices in our head. The ones which try to convince us we are not good enough.
Today’s reading is another passage often misinterpreted. Some have argued it’s about God rejecting the Jews in favor of Christians. Others think it shows how God condemns those who reject God. Neither of these are the most faithful interpretations. To me, it captures the enduring problem with the human mind and our relationship with God. A problem clearly articulated in the words, “Since you…judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life.”
No matter how much attention we place on our strengths or inherent value as human beings, we struggle to judge ourselves worthy. The question we have the most difficult time answering is not, why won’t God love me? But, how could God love a person like me? For a moment today, let God do the judging in your life. Then embrace God has judged you worthy of loving, worthy of forgiving, and worthy of saving. Most importantly, you are worthy of sustaining until you can truly believe all of it.
Click to read: Acts 13: 46-49
- What are the strengths you do not fully embrace?
- What are the weaknesses you spend far too much time trying to improve?
- How can owning your weaknesses actually be a strength?
- Where do you want God to help you become strong?
- How can you invite God to help?
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com and Stijin Swinnen