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Devotional: Pen In Hand – Embracing Your Strengths

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Which Hand You Write With … and Why It Matters

A devotional about embracing your strengths

Right-handed or left-handed?

Just 1% of the population are equally adept at using both. The rest of us are more dexterous in one hand over the other, particularly in everyday tasks like signing our names or brushing our teeth. One hand performs faster, more easily, and more naturally than the other.  

A generation ago, it was common for parents and teachers to make left-handed children use their right hand. Today, handedness is viewed as part of an individual’s unique wiring. Children are encouraged to learn to write with the hand that feels most natural to them.

Scripture reminds us that the same is true with our God-given strengths – the predictable ways each of us naturally approach or respond to problems, information, change, and risk.

The culture’s herd mindset may evaluate your strengths based on a sliding values scale, assigning worth to selected characteristics over others (just as in years past, right-handedness was elevated.) Yet the truth is that your God-given differences are simply part of what makes you unique. We can embrace the strengths that come naturally to us and use them, just as we do with a preference to write using one hand over another.

Try This To Check Your Wiring

In order to embrace the value in your differences, try this exercise. On a piece of paper, sign your first, middle, and last name, using your non-dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, put the pen in your left hand – or vice versa, if you’re left-handed.

Now, switch the pen to your dominant hand. Sign your first, middle, and last name as you normally would. If you are right-handed, use your right hand. If you’re left-handed, use your left hand.

Compare the differences you experienced as you completed those two tasks. Unless you’re truly ambidextrous, using your non-dominant hand feels awkward. The process is clumsy and cumbersome. Take a closer look at what you wrote. While your non-dominant handwriting may be legible, it bears little resemblance to your natural signature.

Pen in Hand: Embracing Your Strengths

Back in kindergarten, the choice of one hand over another was instinctive. Today, signing your name using your dominant hand feels natural. Would you sign your name with one hand when you know one is more inherent than another? 

Likewise, you are uniquely wired with natural strengths.

To deny your strengths is to forfeit opportunities to use them and worse, to deny the Giver.  Why not embrace your unique, God-given abilities … value the unique strengths in others … and open up a whole new place of freedom in being one-of-a-kind?

Otherwise, you may walk through life feeling like you’ve got your pen in the wrong hand.  

 

Growth Point

Embrace your God-given strengths as His gift.

Scripture

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:4, NIV)

Prayer Points

  • List a strength that comes naturally to you in one or more of these areas: solving problems, processing information, managing change, or facing risk.
  • Name a time when you have struggled to accept your unique strengths set.
  • Consider completing a Leading From Your Strengths profile to collect concrete data about your unique, God-given strengths.

Read more Devotionals from Ministry Insights

Devotional: Is Your Eyesight Fuzzy or Clear?

Devotional: Individuality or Conformity – Must You Choose?

Devotional: Understanding Others’ Strengths – Do You Have a Good View?

Devotional: How to Avoid “The Unimportance Trap”