And you must love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT)
How do you love God with all your strength? Strength measures one of two things: external power or internal fortitude. Personally my physical strength doesn’t amount to much, but one way I honor God with that strength is remaining committed to exercise and staying fit, and any time I’ve run on the treadmill longer than I thought possible was like a prayer of thanks.
As a rule, people don’t know just how strong they are (or aren’t) until they find themselves in the midst of a crisis. In my career I have seen way too many people who claimed that they couldn’t concentrate on their work – or even come to work – because of their personal issues, and all too often they end up adding unemployment to their list of problems. As a leader, what is my responsibility to help other people find or develop their inner strength? It doesn’t require belief in God to see that strength of character and strength under pressure are essential tools for coping with life, and that people who lack them will never fulfill their potential because they’re always running away from or folding under adversity.
We love and honor God both when we use what strength He gives us, and when we acknowledge those times when our own strength is insufficient. There have been many times in my career when I felt like I lacked the strength to accomplish a task, or have a difficult conversation, or overcome a failure. Help was always there, but ego often kept me from asking for it, both from other people and from God, who knows our limits and invites us to allow Him to be our source of strength when our own strength falters; rather than chiding us for weakness, He blesses our reliance on Him.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. (Psalms 118:14 NLT)
In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (2 Samuel 22:30 NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)