In my November post I made the statement, “Leadership begins with knowing whose we are.” In the following months we looked at Scripture and strategies that can affirm and help us grasp whose we are. This month I want to tackle the idea of who we are.
For many of us our disability is the first thing that is seen, and it is probably what we think of when asked who we are. But we want the answer to that question to look beyond our disability. Our disability is a factor, but not the sole definition of who we are.
So we need to ask the question, how does disability affect our perception of who we are? Before we answer that question, there is a foundational question we need to answer. Why does God allow disabilities?
I am about to give you an answer based on sixty years of living with cerebral palsy, over four decades as a Christian, twenty-some years of education in Christian colleges/universities and forty years of ministry. I don’t know why we are disabled. The truth is theologians have been debating this seemingly from the beginning of time. What I do know is this: 1) God is sovereign, and He is wildly in love with us. Remember Psalm 139? 2) He has a purpose in our disability and wants to redeem it for His glory and our good.
One of the passages that tells me this, is in the book of John chapter 9. As Jesus and his disciples were walking along, they came across a man who was born blind. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his sin or his parents’ sin?” Jesus answered, “This man was born blind to show the ”˜power’ of God.” Some translations say the works of God, the glory of God. The word used in the original language is the same root word that we use today for “dynamite.” This man was born blind so that God could blow away the world’s expectations for what God could do in this man’s life. That’s the kind of God I am excited to serve.
Our disability is a part of who we are, but it is not the determiner or the complete picture of who we are. Who we are also includes our life experience, our family, our personality, our temperament, our passions, our talents, our gifts, etc. We talk about all these things individually, but the truth is they are intertwined.
Sometimes taking a personality profile or questionnaire can be helpful to uncover an understanding of some of these factors. Some of my favorites are, the DISC profile, the Meyers Briggs and the Clifton Strengths 34. If you have the opportunity to take any of these profiles, I encourage you to do so, Please remember that these are profiles, not tests.
You are already an A+ in God’s eyes. Your results from any profile are a picture of a point in time. They are like a slice of a pie. They do not tell everything about you, or who you will be in the future. It is best to use the summary as a guide and talk through the results with someone who knows you well. They can help you honestly sort through the things that could be most helpful to you.
I realize not everyone is as geeky as me and enjoys these profiles. Stay tuned! Next month I will share with you a free list of questions I have developed to help one assess how God has wired them.
I’d love to hear what you discover about yourself in this process. You can share in a comment below, or email Jerry@Luke14Exchange.org