Quick Insight: Welcome to an Unwelcome Opportunity by Using Your Strengths

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

You’ve been there: you’ve been asked to take care of a task or serve in a particular role “just for a little while” because “you’re so good at this.”

But you have a problem: you simply don’t want to respond to the unwelcome opportunity.

You’re not the only one!

Here’s an Insight: Welcome an Unwelcome Opportunity by Using Your Strengths

Simon was a Jew from Cyrene, then a province of Libya, about 900 miles and a month’s journey from Jerusalem.

He was away from home and outside his comfort zone, passing through the city (perhaps to celebrate the Passover feast, though we are not certain) when he was pressed into service. Roman soldiers compelled Simon to carry Jesus’ crossbeam through the streets because the Lord was too weak to do so.

welcome matTalk about an unwelcome opportunity! The city was in an uproar. Jews were in danger, which included Simon. Even so, Simon may not have even been aware of who Jesus was. And if Simon had traveled to the city purposefully to celebrate the high and holy Passover, once he carried the cross he was now defiled – unclean – and unable to do so. His trip would be for naught.

Or was it?

Be Willing to Use Your Strengths

Although we don’t know much about Simon of Cyrene, we know he must have been gifted with physical strength because he carried Jesus’ crossbeam– an estimated 75-125 pounds – to Golgotha.

He used that strength even when circumstances were not best. He carried the cross behind Jesus, following him and enduring the jeers of the abusive crowd along with the Savior.

Simon was recruited “as they were going out” of Pilate’s Praetorium (Matthew 27:32), meaning he likely carried the cross a majority of the distance. His service was short-term, but it was indispensable for a battered and bleeding Jesus who could barely manage to walk, let alone carry a crossbeam.

Perhaps you identify with Simon. You may be pressed into service, even though you hadn’t planned it or don’t want it. You are called to use your strengths to carry a heavy load, even if for just a short season.

Simon was willing to use his strengths, even when the opportunity was unwelcome.

Are you?


Now How Should I Live?

Ephesians 5:16 tells us to “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (NLT).

  • How did Simon of Cyrene make the most of the opportunity presented to him?
  • God regularly places opportunities before us to use our strengths. What opportunities do you see right now?
  • Ask God to show you how He would like you to make the most of those opportunities.

More About Serving with Your Strengths

Quick Insight: Serve in Style – YOUR Style

Quick Insight: Love Is the Goal. Strengths are the Means

Quick Insight: Use Your Strengths to Rock the Boat