I noticed this cottonwood tree at Zion National Park earlier this summer. When I looked closer, there was no soil under the tree itself! It had been washed away by seasonal floods, but the tree’s stout roots grew deep into the ground to support it.
Like this tree is rooted in the soil, we can be rooted in Jesus’ love. He is our source for being strong, thriving, and bearing good fruit.
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” ~Ephesians 3:16-17, ESV
As I’ve learned more about Gallup CliftonStrengths and my themes, I’ve been aware of how Jesus was already growing me in ways related to my themes before I knew what they were. He had been helping me become aware of them, and live them out, and outgrow the weakness that held me back from using them well.
As I looked at this tree, it made me ponder this question:
How does Jesus help us grow in our Strengths Themes?”
Jesus is our source for:
- Using our strengths with courage, motivated by love. We naturally tend toward selfishness and fear. As we follow Jesus, he leads us beyond ourselves, so we can truly use our strengths to bless other people.
- Living out of strength consistently. Just because we have a Strengths Theme, it doesn’t mean that we always live it out as true strength. It is normal for us to express the raw or immature aspects of our themes when we’re tired and stressed. Jesus helps us thrive in our themes and express them fruitfully, regardless of our circumstances! When rushing rivers remove the topsoil of our lives, we can still be rooted in Jesus and bear good fruit.
- Outgrowing weakness and sin so they don’t hinder our themes. When we understand our weaknesses and make choices to move past them, our themes can come through in all their beauty as true strengths! As I spend quiet time with Jesus, thinking, praying, with Scripture open in front of me, he helps me be aware of and examine my life. He gives me perspective and helps me see where I can grow. If sin hinders me, the Holy Spirit helps me see it and respond to it. Being rooted in him allows me to experience growth in a hopeful way, because I know I’m loved and that he will help me.
How we practically experience Jesus as our Source? How do we receive his love, persevere despite the pressure of circumstances, and live the examined life?
We need to be rooted in his love!
We start with creating space to pray and thoughtfully read Scripture with Jesus. As we do this over time, we get to know him. At first we’re simply intentional to make time for these practices. But over time this begins to permeate our days and change who we are. (See these posts on prayer and Scripture for ideas.)
Jesus enables us to go further on our journey of growing our strengths than we could ever go on our own!
How has Jesus helped you express your themes as strengths?
Do you desire to experience more of what I shared about above? I’d love to encourage you in learning about your CliftonStrengths themes, or in growing your relationship with Jesus. Simply reach out with a note!