When Flaws are Strengths

 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully”

Romans 12:6-8

No one likes to have their flaws pointed out to them. Yet, criticism seems to always find its way to us. We may even hear the same things over and over again. People might say that you are flighty, unorganized, and unable to follow through on commitments. Maybe they say that you are rigid, unfeeling, and mean. Maybe that you are too loud or too quiet; too strict or too lenient; think too much or don’t think enough; feel too deeply or don’t feel enough.

You are most likely aware of your own flaws, so these criticisms sting more than you wish they would. They somehow feel like a lie but also very much like the truth. You want them to roll off your back but instead they stick like barbs.

When people see flaws in you, chances are they are seeing the negative side of your strength. They are seeing your ability to adapt to your surroundings as being inconsistent. They might see your ability to organize your world as being rigid and inflexible.

As someone calls out the negative side of your strength, the side with flaws and messiness, it can make you want to hide your strength entirely. You have been told you are too loud, so you stop talking entirely. You have been told that you are too harsh, so you stop telling the truth of what you see.

Your strengths might be misunderstood because they are unpolished and a little rough around the edges. It could also be that the strength you carry conflicts with the strength of another person, leading neither of you to understand or accept what the other brings to the situation.

We are all unpolished, rough around the edges, messy people—whether we look like it or not. Through God’s grace and love, we are being turned into the people God has called us to be. We strive to do the best we can with the information, resources, and strengths at our disposal. We learn and grow as time goes on. We break and chip as we walk through life. A piece of gold is still precious and valuable, even its roughest form.

You are unique, and your strengths are unique. You add something to this world, to the people around you, to the family of Christ, that no one else does. Walk forward with boldness. For you were fearfully and wonderfully made.