The Most Dreaded Job Interview Question
There is one question which arises in nearly every interview for every position, whether in Christian ministry or in a job in the world around us. Everyone knows it’s going to be asked. Everyone struggles to prepare for it.
What is your Greatest Strength? What is your Greatest Weakness?
Almost no one really knows what to say. If we’re honest about our weaknesses . . . we’ll look sad and pitiful! And if we’re honest about our strengths . . . we’ll look conceited and boastful!
As followers of Christ, how should we handle a question like this?
Your Greatest Weakness
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (1 Corinthians 12:9)
In our afflictions, says Paul, the power of Christ is perfected in us.
What are our afflictions? They’re different for each of us. For one person, it may be a disabling condition like dyslexia. For another, it might be ADD. For another, it’s lingering emotional grief, or continual struggles with depression. For another, it may be a physical weakness. A pain that won’t go away. A disability that others can’t see.
Our afflictions show us our utter dependence on God for the accomplishment of anything good in our lives. And anything which does that can be a positive good. Why? Because the power of Christ is perfected in us through it.
What could be better than that! What Christian doesn’t want the power of Christ to be perfected in him? But how many volunteer willingly for the means of that perfection?
Not many of us would quest after affliction, or distress, or weakness. And yet, those ‘thorns’ are what drive us to God to find in him our complete sufficiency.
When we are weak, then we are strong.
Your Greatest Strength
‘But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows me.’ (Jeremiah 9:24)
However, that doesn’t mean we must play down or even conceal areas in which we are gifted. When we’re presenting our qualifications to others – trying to write up a resume, or prepare for a job interview – we shouldn’t hide our gifts. Why not? Because our gifts come from God! They aren’t ours to boast about, but God’s, for us to glorify God about!
Christian, you are not duty-bound to highlight only your areas of disability or struggle when you speak to others in church. That would be to hide from the church the gifts God has given you. In fact, not to speak at all about these gifts is to do disservice to the Lord who gave it to you.
Rather, there is a way to speak of your abilities without promoting yourself, by giving the Lord all praise and glory for those abilities, by speaking of your abilities in humility.
You see, even our presumed strengths can be spoken of in ‘weakness’, by maintaining that the strengths come from God. Listen to the Apostle Paul: ‘For what do you have that you did not receive?’ (1 Cor. 4:8). ‘Don’t boast in what you have,’ he goes on to say, ‘but praise God for it.’
When we reveal to others our weaknesses, we glorify the God on whom we depend in our weakness. And when we reveal to others our strengths, not boasting, but as gifts that aren’t from ourselves, we glorify the God on whom we depend for our strength.