Strength & Dignity Series – Part 3
This is the third in a series on Strength and Dignity, God’s True Beauty Plan.
I have found it interesting that God has called me to a very external profession, Dermatology, when I am naturally a more internal, introverted type of person. In the 25 years that I have practiced dermatology, the concept that the external (skin) is very reflective of things occurring internally is confirmed. At WellSprings Dermatology, named for Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows the wellsprings of life.” I desired to leave something of eternal value with the patients and skin care clients that walk through our doors every week. So in 2008, we began handing out scripture/quote cards. Once a quarter, I spend a day in prayer and come up with 12 scripture/quote combinations. My marketing director then prints them on business card stock for each patient/client to receive one as they leave. The stories of how these messages touch people at exactly the right time continue to be shared with us. That is the power of God’s word!
I had some fear about doing this at first and was honestly a little awkward in handing them out. But now, patients, clients, even pharmaceutical representatives stop in and ask for them and have come to expect them.
This took courage!
Strength is many times perceived as looking like Samson, but it can be the simple acts of overcoming fear of anything.
The source of our strength is undeniably God when you read the scriptures. It is not a gift for a select few, but it is for all. We gain our strength in Him and from Him. Yet, we have a role in accessing this strength. We will bring light to this strength in future blog posts but first I want to discuss what the Bible says will remove or take away our strength.
Ezekiel 24:21 states that if we become prideful or self-reliant, God will take our strength away.
Let’s not just skip over this and assume we have this in check. I believe it is easy to see overt arrogance or pride in ourselves or others, but God has convicted me that there are other types of pride, including a false humility, that can be very subtle. It can be a message in our heart that everything depends on us. A message that says if we just DO it all right then we are good. I believe this performance perfectionism vs. providential provision can be prideful.
A few other ways the scriptures tell us our strength is taken away:
Amos 3:11 states that the enemy can pull down our strength.
Leviticus 26:20 states that if we do not honor and keep His laws, our strength is useless.
Hosea 7:9-10 states that if we mix with the world our strength is devoured and we do not even know it.
There is a book by Hugh Hewitt entitled, “In But Not Of” that discusses how we are called to live in, move in and influence this world but not be of it. Our work is the same as those who directly received the Great Commission. We are to teach, evangelize, tell the world how they can find salvation in Jesus Christ, but not by mixing with or looking like the world. Neither is it by self-reliance leading to false humility or pride.
When we allow our strength to be removed; low self-worth, comparisons, numbing, addictions and even suicide often follow. These tragic escapes have reached epidemic proportions in our world and in those lives we are called to teach.
So we must strategize to gain and obtain full access to His strength in us.
Look for the next blog in this series to learn more on Strength and Dignity, God’s True Beauty Plan