Strength shadows – giftings

By Dave Henning / November 9, 2023

“We tend to think more about shadows of sin than shadows of strength. . . .  Strength shadows, however, are a less intuitive source of disillusionment, because it rarely occurs to us that our giftings could supply anything other than blessing to a relationship.”- Alicia Britt Chole

In Chapter 40 (“Sunday Schooled”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole turns our attention to 11 tools to help us navigate disillusionment within the family of God.  Furthermore, Dr. Chole describes the tools as a fusion of skills as well as principles to help us choose the way of love.  Especially when interpersonal pain is unavoidable.

1.  When disillusioned with God’s people, be slow to assume that sin is the source.  Certainly, the author states, sin serves as a significant source of disillusionment between God’s people.  However, life does an equal job ot manufacturing drama.  Thus, the diversity, complexity, and constant change of life accounts for a great deal of our misunderstanding.

 2.  When disillusioned with God’s people, humbly acknowledge that your strengths might have shadows.  In Chapter 41 (“Less Than Blessed”) Dr. Chole posits that we’re all motivated by the need to produce, to relate, and to think.  In addition, envision these three motivations as a rotating cluster.  Because each one can take the lead, depending on the circumstances and seasons.

Hence, Dr. Chole illustrates how strength shadows sometimes fail to create blessing.  For example, producers feel guilty or bored taking a vacation.  But relaters feel working with people they love IS a vacation.  Finally, thinkers tend to with everyone else would go on a vacation so they can think in peace.

In conclusion, Dr. Chole astutely observes:

“So perhaps we can laugh a bit more and blame sin a bit less for the challenges we face as a community.  Plain old life and strength shadows confirm the innate complexity of life together before anything else even enters the room.”

Today’s question: When have your strength shadows caused issues?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Generous listening – hearts”

About the author

Dave Henning

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