Think about this for a moment: How often do we view people negatively more than positively? We focus on what they can’t do rather than on what they can do. We focus on what they don’t do rather than on what they do. We focus on their defects and deficits rather than their gifts and talents. In short, we focus on their weaknesses rather than their strengths! Then, we get frustrated with them because of who they are not, and we get even more frustrated because we can’t get them to be more like us!
Read Matthew 7:1-2.
A friend, author, and mentor, Edward “Chip” Anderson, Ph.D., once explained how he began seeing people through “strengths-colored” glasses:
- Each person has been uniquely created by God.
- Each person has been specifically and intentionally gifted by God to accomplish some important purpose.
- Each person I meet has been strategically placed by God in my sphere of influence for some important reason.
- Each person already has the natural talents she needs to achieve the purpose God has set out for her to accomplish.
These revelations serve to remind us that just as God created us with unique strengths. He created others with specific strengths as well. In the practical sense, this means that person next to you wasn’t put on earth simply to annoy you! As we begin to recognize the unique contribution that each person brings, we become more aware of his or her raw talents. We have the opportunity, then, to speak words of genuine encouragement and hope into their lives, to help them develop their talents into strengths. In the words of Dr. Anderson, we become “talent spotters”—people who recognize and grow the talents of others!
Who were talent spotters in your life?
Are you a talent spotter in other people’s lives? If so, who? If not, how could you begin?
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®.
“Developing Your Strengths” is published by the National Women’s Department at women.ag.org, 2020. Permission granted for personal use or within a teaching setting. Do not reproduce.