Holly tells us in this chapter that " God formed each of us with certain ways of reaching out to others. God knows you better than anyone, so also ask him to be your partner in this process and show you what you need to know about who he's made you."
The chapter focuses on finding our Social Strengths. She gives us a question that helps us recognize our preference. "If you have a free evening to do anything you'd liek with others. Would you plan a party, have dinner with a few friends or make time for a long chat over coffee with just one person?
Once you have answered this question, you then find the description that sounds most like you. Are you a One-to One person, One-to Few or One-to Many?
For me, I am mostly a One-to Few but also love the One-to One. I am a person who lives off of deep connection with others.
Holly then goes on to talk about the structure of relationships you're drawn to. She talks about three structures: leading, partnering, and following/serving. She says that there is may be more than one area that you are drawn to, but usually one that you naturally gravitate to more of the time. For me, I could post identify with "partnering".
Holly then goes on to focus on the way we see the world and how that can become a strength as well. We look at the world either externally or internally. I loved the way she described each of these. I hadn't really thought much before about how I "look at the world". This really opened my eyes to some strengths that I wasn't aware of before.
Lastly, she descibed our "sphere of needs". She says on page 121, "When you use your social sight to focus on others, needs begin to appear. The needs that stand out most to you and the ways you feel compelled to fill them for others are the final aspect of your social strengths". She puts these into four catergories:
Practical- When you see a need, you are likely to do it. You use your hands to meet needs.
Emotional- You offer heart first. You like to encourage and bring hope
Relational- You see your presence as the best gift you can offer. You show up whenever it matters most.
Intellectual- You try to connect them to truth first. You might offer to pray for them right away.
For me, although I could see myself in all of them, I believe I feel most needed emotionally.
Answering some of these questions about ourselves is very important to the process of recognizing that we are already amazing. Our strengths are worth protecting. Not only does God have a plan for our life, but the enemy does to. I want to stay at the core of who God is calling me to be. One of my very favorite quotes of this chapter is this,
"Whether we're talking about strengths or weaknesses, the biggest temptation is to rely on ourselves. When that happens with our strengths, it shows up as arrogance and pride. When it's our weaknesses, it leads to insecurity and shame."
When we are led by the Spirit, instead of ourselves, " its a moment by moment, day by day dependence. It's acknowledging that even in our strengths, we need a of help. And even in our weaknesses, God can enable us to do more than we imagined. We are AMAZING, not because of WHO we are but because of WHO lives WITHIN US."
Video of Chapter 7 with Holly Gerth from incourage.me
Questions for Discussion:
Which setting are you most drawn to? Describe your favorite way to spend time with other people.
Which sphere of needs does your heart feel called to most?
When it comes to sight, are you more internal or external?