Nutmeg was a beautiful young horse with this white blaze on her nose and what looked like white boots on her feet. Her owners learned that her grandmother had actually been a prize-winning jumper. Apparently, Nutmeg had her grandmother’s blood; she just kept jumping every fence her owners ever used to try to restrain her. One day, trying to get out of another fence, she broke her leg. The veterinarian told the owners it was the worst break he had ever seen in a horse, and there was no way to save her. She was a horse with such great potential and a very sad ending.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Fatal Flipside.”
That horse’s great strength was her instinct and ability to jump, but it also ended up killing her. Her strength, uncontrolled, untamed, became her fatal weakness. Not unlike a lot of us. So often, our greatest weakness is the flipside of our greatest strength. Right? And untamed, uncontrolled, it will eventually bring us, and others, great injury and great pain.
Think about Samson, for example. He was Israel’s conqueror, conquering every Philistine in sight. But he ended up conquering every woman he was attracted to, as well, until one named Delilah conquered him and brought him to destruction. It’s really important that we look with brutal honesty at the downside of our strengths and confront the weaknesses that go with them before they do any more damage.
Hebrews 12:1-2, our word for today from the Word of God, and it says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” Identify, this says, what trips you up and what slows you down, and “throw it off.” And don’t be surprised if it’s the other side of a strength you have.
You may be a strong, goal-oriented person with a lot of drive who, on the other hand, may drive right over people or cut corners with what’s right to get to your goal. Maybe God has given you the ability to communicate well – you’re a good talker, but sometimes those people can use that ability to deceive or to manipulate. Then there’s the person who’s very determined and hard to derail, but who may, on the other side, be stubborn and even disobedient when God’s way differs from their way.
You may be known to those around you as a gentle, loving, encouraging person, and boy that’s good. But because you don’t want to hurt anyone and you like being liked, you won’t confront people, you won’t confront situations that need confronting, thus, setting the stage for some terrible explosions. Then there’s the person who prides himself on always being honest about how they feel, not realizing or not caring how much their “honesty” is hurting people…crushing people. You can be a logical person. You’re so logical you box out God’s miracles, a disciplined person who is also rigid and inflexible, or a spontaneous person who is also lazy and undisciplined.
Thank God for the strengths that He has given you. But turn to God to help you see, and repent of, and conquer the fatal side of your strengths. Often, those weaknesses are the last ones for us to see and repent of. They’re strongholds to the Lordship of Christ in our life.
This Biblical prayer, prayed often and with an open heart, can save you so much grief: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24, NASB).