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Close the spiritual gap

February 14, 2023

Daily Scripture

2 Peter 3:17-18

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned in advance, be on guard so that you aren’t led off course into the error of sinful people, and lose your own safe position. 18 Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In 2019, Resurrection chose a set of big goals to guide us through 2030. * The first goal is to “deepen the spiritual vitality of all Resurrection members.” Accepting and living into God’s wonderful, life-changing gift of grace is not a “once and done” experience. As we grow closer to God’s design for our lives, we always keep finding areas in which we need further growth. God’s grace gives us a loving climate in which to keep growing closer to our gracious God.

  • Scholar William Barclay wrote, “The Christian must daily experience the wonder of grace, and daily grow in the gifts which grace can bring; and he must daily enter more and more deeply into the wonder which is in Jesus Christ.” ** That’s a lot of “daily’s”! But what eating program says that eating once a week will make you strong? What fitness program says working out once a week is plenty? How can you choose to “grow in grace” every day? (We pray the GPS may help.)
  • “Growing in grace” is not just intellectual. Pastor and scholar Christopher Green wrote, “It is impossible to stand still as a Christian….We need to know more about [Jesus], to be sure; but we also grow in that knowledge by obeying him, by treating his promises as genuine promises of the Savior, and his commands as genuine commands of the Lord.” *** In what ways are you growing in trusting and obeying as you learn more about Jesus?

Lord Jesus, give me the gift of honesty with myself, so that I can recognize where I need to change. Show me the places where you call me to grow in your amazing grace. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at Leawood's modern worship services, as well as at the West and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

(Brandon wrote this reflection about identifying our personal “gaps” when we introduced our Vision 2030 goals in 2019.)

“Do you have any weaknesses?” That’s perhaps the most feared interview question of all time. I was a hiring manager for eight years. I never really asked this question, not because it’s a bad question, but just because so many people are spectacularly bad at answering it. The things people try to pass off as answers to this question are hilarious, but also enlightening in all the wrong ways.

“I’m just too much of a perfectionist.”

“I work so hard that I never take breaks.”

“I was such a leader on the team that I made our manager redundant.” (Yes, I actually heard that one once. The guy was not a leader.)

If you ask a random street fighter what his weaknesses as a fighter are, you won’t get an answer. But if you ask some of the best MMA fighters what their weaknesses are, they’re going to have some very specific things they know are weaknesses. They’ll know if their crosses leave their chest open for a counterattack, or if they have a tendency to flinch when a blow comes in at a certain angle. They’ll know exactly where they’ll falter. And you’d better believe that they have a contingency plan for when that happens.

There’s a story of a traveler who journeyed far to seek wisdom from a wise sage. When he found the sage, he asked her what made her so smart. “I have made ten thousand mistakes,” she replied. Perplexed, the traveler asked her how that’s different from everyone else. Her reply: “Most people make ten mistakes a thousand times each.”

When employers ask questions about weaknesses, we’re trying to gauge self-awareness. The best employees learn from their mistakes. If an interviewee can’t think of any mistakes or weaknesses, it’s a safe bet that they’re not going to own up to and learn from their mistakes, and that means they’ll keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I’d much rather hire an employee that makes ten thousand mistakes than one who makes ten mistakes a thousand times each.

We spend a lot of time looking at our spiritual gifts and strengths—and those are very important—but there’s also some value in looking at how we describe our weaknesses, our spiritual gaps. Do we know what those are? Do we have plans for staying safe when they’re triggered? Do we have the self-awareness to know what we need to work on, or just avoid altogether? Or are we like the interviewees above who make every effort to hide our weaknesses?

One of the biggest parts of growing spiritually is no doubt discovering and learning how to effectively use the gifts God has given you, but knowing what you’re bad at can be vital as well. It’s never a bad thing to know how to avoid the pitfalls that come along with your weaknesses, and that can’t happen unless we’re open—with ourselves and others—about what those are.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Click here to view Resurrection’s Vision 2030 goals.
** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letters of James and Peter (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, pp. 350-351.
*** Christopher Green and Dick Lucas, The Message of 2 Peter and Jude. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995, p. 157.