Day 1 of 40

Engage Your Strengths


Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small. ” 27 So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, 28 blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. 29 I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat; 30 but for all the wild animals and for all the birds I have provided grass and leafy plants for food ”—and it was done. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Evening passed and morning came—that was the sixth day.

Biblical Underpinnings for Strengths Something within our spirit resonates with the discovery of our talents and strengths. It “feels right,” as though from the depths of our being we can finally shout, “This is who I was created to be!” This liberating experience allows us to develop and move toward living out our talents – God-given ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. It also gives us permission to accept ourselves as God originally created us to be. Numerous passages from the Old and New Testaments affirm what we already know in our hearts about God’s grace towards humanity. In the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, we find that humankind was the crowning achievement of Creation:

Genesis 1.27, 31a - So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female . . . God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased.

More specifically, the Old Testament book of Jeremiah reminds us that God knows us personally and has a unique call for each of our lives:

Jeremiah 1:4-5

4 The LORD said to me, 5 “I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations.”

It is this knowledge of God’s intimate involvement in our lives that leads to the deep sense of gratitude expressed in the Old Testament book of Psalms:

Psalm 139.14-16

14 I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. 15 When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there— 16 you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.

Furthermore, in the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, we discover that God’s unique design for us includes giving us different gifts to be used in helping others:

1 Corinthians 12:14-20

14 For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. 15 If the foot were to say, “Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 16 And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell? 18 As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 There would not be a body if it were all only one part! 20 As it is, there are many parts but one body.

Expanding on this theme, a number of New Testament books (especially the book of Ephesians) help us understand that ministry is about releasing each person’s potential – helping them do what God designed them to do best. Our success and impact will be because of who we are . . . not by trying to be who we are not. We are free to become men and women of excellence as we discover and enhance our strengths by drawing upon our God-given talents through the practice and development of our skills and building our base of knowledge.

From a spiritual viewpoint, when we affirm and engage our strengths in Scripture, we communicate to God our gratefulness for gracing us with our unique mix of talents and gifts, and learn to live the life that God always intended us to live. It also gives us a sense of significance and purpose and a new set of lenses in which to encounter the life- changing message of the Word of God!