I was playing golf with a friend of mine the other day.  He pulled his shot off of the 4th tee box, and it flew into the bunker in the left rough.  He was pretty upset, and was dreading his next shot even before he got into the cart.

“I have no idea how to hit out of a bunker.  Do you?”

“Actually, yes.  It’s easy.  I used to practice at it.”

Even as the words came out of my mouth, I was laughing at myself.  Who practices out of a bunker? I mean, shouldn’t we all practice from the tee box and the fairway?  Because if we get better and better off of the box, we’ll never be hanging out in bunkers.

Apparently, I was never good enough to steer clear of the traps.

Which means I’m just like the best players in the world.

You see, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the game of golf, you’re going to have to hit from the bunker at some point.  You’re not good enough to avoid every trap.

In our small group meeting this week, we talked about our weaknesses.  It wasn’t what I would call a joyous occasion.  But it was really good.  Some of us could easily identify areas where we’re weak.  For others, it was a bit tougher.  But we didn’t stop there.

Identifying your weaknesses is like saying, “I don’t know how to hit the ball from the sand,” but not planning to do anything about it.  That statement needs to be followed by, “Can you help me?”  Because hitting the ball from the sand is tough.  And it’s an art form.  And it takes somebody being patient with you and helping you figure it out.  Showing you where to stand.  How to stand.  How to swing.  And the thought process that goes into blasting one out.  You don’t just innately know how to hit a sand shot.  You need a patient coach.

God allows us to be weak.  Because if we weren’t weak, why would we need Him?  And if we could figure out this life all on our own, we’d have no need for Him and His people (the Church).

How do you grow through your weaknesses?

1. Identify your weaknesses. You have to start with this.  If you’re having trouble doing this, just ask some of your friends.  Or, better yet, if you’re married, ask your spouse.  They’ll have no trouble identifying them for you.

2. Come up with an action plan. Write out tangible goals that will help you grow through these weaknesses.  Without tangible goals, achievable goals, how will you know if you’re ever making progress?

3. Identify a person who’s strong where you’re weak. Share your weakness(es) with them, and your action plan.  Let them know that you’re going to be a work-in-progress, but that you’d like them to know where you’re headed.

4. Be open and honest about who you are and ways you still fall short. You’re going to mess up.  Again and again.  And while that’s not okay, it puts you in company with guys like the apostle Paul.  (Philippians 3:12-13)

You need to find somebody who is strong in areas where you’re weak.  Lean on them.  Let them into your struggles.

If you never work on your weaknesses, you’ll find yourself in the bunker one day with no idea how to get out.

Do you find it difficult to identify your weaknesses?

Or is it more difficult for you to actually do something about them?