24 May Are You Serving From Your Strengths?
At the suggestion of a friend, I recently read StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This short book emphasizes how much time we spend trying to improve our weaknesses rather than building on our strengths. Think about it.
When your child’s report card comes home, which grade do you focus most on, the A in English or the C- in math? In which area do you pursue extra help? Research shows that we all perform better and are happier when we focus on what we are good at.
When you purchase the book, you get a special code to be used online. With that code, you can go to the www.strengthsfinder.com website and take an online assessment. The StrengthsFinder tool takes into account years of research that has identified 34 most common talents. The online assessment tool uncovers your top five “talent themes” and gives you a thorough report about ways these themes might play out in your life.
My talent themes were not completely surprising but provided clarity and affirmation. First, I am an “achiever” which is evident to me and those who know me well! I am always multi-tasking and am happiest when I have a variety of meaningful projects that I am working on. On the flip side, this strength can quickly be corrupted and become a weakness for me. I can easily move into self-promoting my agenda over my relationships when I am obsessively “achieving!” I am certainly not being inviting when I am focused solely on getting things done. Just today, I told my husband I could not have lunch with him because I had to work on this article!
One of the best things StrengthsFinder has given me is a clearer picture of my individuality, the person that God created me to be. While my calling as an ezer does not change, I need to examine whether or not I am living within my calling as my season of life changes. My children are moving into middle and high school, and with these changes I am need to be moving also. God calls me to use my gifts to serve Him in this world in every season. I have spent much of my life lamenting what I am not good at rather than accepting and celebrating the gifts He has given me. Identifying my “talent themes” helps me embrace my strengths and discern where I can best serve God, both at church and in the community. Recognizing these themes helps me understand why I should leave some opportunities to partner in serving for someone else who is better suited!
If you are entering a new season, or just taking time this summer to reassess your commitments, I recommend that you read StrengthsFinder 2.0. It will shed some light on your individuality and the gifts God has given you. You can use that information to make wise choices about where you invest your time as you live out your calling as an ezer in every season of your life.