Two Way Street

January 11, 2013 | Blog | No Comments

Lord, what are my strong points?

Reflection on Romans 15:1. ‘We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak’

I’m aware of my weak areas ’cause people keep telling me about them. But my strong points, that’s what I need to know. personal-life-coaching 1aYour Word talks about the strong bearing up the not so strong, well, am I included in the ‘strong ones?’ I’m asking this for that verse has an “ought” in it. That means there is an obligation as well as a motivation to get involved.

It strikes me that ‘strength and weakness’ are not clear cut parameters. Everyone I know has a mixture of these to varying degrees. The way that verse reads is a call to mutual ministry, mutual compassion and mutual assistance. From out of my strong points I’m to share. In my not so strong areas I’m to accept another’s support. Sounds like a good balance, a beautiful way to keep a humble spirit alive and well.

There is a problem I must face. I find it difficult to admit I need help.

I remember that first mission and study trip to Zambia. Spending two weeks in that village showed me much about strengths and weakness. We, Mary and I, had come with our Western strengths, health, wealth (in African understanding), Christian resources, wide world view.  How easy it would have been to feel superior and talk down to these wonderful people. I quickly learnt my not so strong areas in their village life. They carried me in my ignorance of their culture, history and language and did it with patience and good humour.

From their poverty they were overwhelmingly generous to us.  From their hardship there was a tender graciousness. From their worship I learnt praise. From their acceptance I knew love.

I thank you for them.
I am forever in their debt

That’s why I want to know my strengths.  I long to be able to share their burdens as if they were my own.  I may not have the muscle power – but what I have is for you to use to build them up.

My Final Thought:
Out of their poverty
They prospered me.
Out of my riches
May I help
Their dreams come true.

Ray HawkinsRay Hawkins, “The Neurotic Rooster”, 2006, private publication, used with permission.
More information

Ray is a retired Church of Christ pastor with a love of writing, mission and kids. He keeps fit by chasing grandchildren and writing devotional meditations, and helps his son out with a sea horse tourist venture and breeding program in Tasmania. This reflection was written after 3 trips to Africa with his wife, Mary.  Watch out for more to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>