Turn Your Greatest Weakness into Your Greatest Strength
By Ed Delph
April 1, 2019
We live in a world demanding strength and success. Look at how most real estate agents market themselves. They appear successful, perfect teeth that are double whitened, perfect hair, body, clothing, a perfectly-posed picture, giving us the impression they are ‘large and in charge.’ That’s also true of most politicians, newscasters, business people, even pastors and their wives.
Why do they do that? They know ‘we the people’ respond positively and follow the seemingly successful. This is not a criticism of any of these people. It’s our current culture. Everyone wants a winner. The latest, the greatest, the bigger, the best.
Notice I said most of these people appear successful. It’s not always that way. Often someone’s greatest weakness can be their greatest strength. Let’s call them Dark Horses. Here’s a true-life example.
“The July 19, 1948, edition of Time magazine told the astounding story of Josefina Guerrero who was awarded the Medal of Freedom for her heroic partnership with the American government in the face of the harsh brutality of World War II. During the war Joey, as she was called, spied for the Allied forces in Manila.
Joey was young, pretty, and vivacious. Her husband was a wealthy medical student at Santo Tomas University. But after the Japanese invaded the Philippines, she joined her friends and together they helped internees and the U.S. prisoners of war – bringing them food, clothing, and medicine. She also carried valuable information back to the U.S. military. She mapped the waterfront areas for the Allied army and prowled the restricted areas, recording what she saw. From Joey’s drawings, American planes were able to pinpoint their targets. She quickly won the respect and the appreciation of the U.S. officials.
For three years, until the war was over, Joey continued her cloak and dagger career and was never caught. Sure, she was stopped several times by suspicious Japanese, but she was never captured or searched due to her secret weapon. What was it? Leprosy!
As a leper she had been an outcast. No one wanted to have anything to do with her. After the war began, the very characteristic that had isolated her from others helped her to accomplish her mission. Her weakness became the secret of her strength.”
What lessons can we learn from this true story?
Firstly, don’t let what you’re not, affect what you can be! In other words, bloom where you are planted. Work with what you have. Look for a way into life, not out of life. Look for your place of contribution. You are the way you are because of why you are.
You might think you’re too old to do anything, but you can pray! I have a friend that was in jail for eight years. Do you know what he did? He took online classes, studied, and won thirty-one awards for academic excellence and excellent behavior. He turned his self-caused ‘broken eggs’ of life into a great omelet!
Secondly, every person has the potential to add great value to someone and something. Sometimes it’s your weakness that gives you a ‘passport’ into something great. God said to the Apostle Paul in II Corinthians, “My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Stop focusing on your handicap and begin appreciating the gift God has given you! Why? What you focus on is what you become. Find your lane and drive fast!
Learn a lesson from King David in the Bible. He was the ultimate dark horse shepherd boy that won the Kentucky Derby. David didn’t defeat the giant because of the way he fought, he defeated the giant because of the way he thought. Giants like Goliath are not sent into our lives to destroy us. Giants are sent into our lives to promote us.
Remember (this is the way it could be), in life there are no losers and winners. There are only winners and learners. Whatever makes you weird or different is probably your greatest asset.
Josephina and King David knew this principle and you can too. I know it!
Ed Delph April 1, 2019
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com