Cover Your Dirt

by Ray Reuter on June 13, 2013

DirtI am an firm believer of focusing on our strengths as a primary strategy. Know and use the gifts and talents you have been given.  And, that does not mean one should ignore our weaknesses. Paying attention to our weaknesses is also critical because it is there that we are vulnerable.

I noticed this first hand Memorial Day weekend when re-purposing an old swing set into a fort for the grandkids. Everything was complete — or so I thought. But alas, Calvin and Lawrence discovered a weak spot as you can see in the picture. There was one 21 inch 2×4 opening under a ladder rung that was not covered up. The boys quickly found this weak spot and took advantage or it, digging up the dirt in that small area. Despite the smallness of the vulnerable area, it was discovered and compromised.

This same phenomenon happens in the spiritual realm. In Ignatius’ Rules of Discernment, Rule 14 states … 

“The conduct of our enemy may also be compared to the tactics of a leader intent upon seizing and plundering a position he desires. A commander and leader of an army will encamp, explore the fortifications and defenses of the stronghold, and attack at the weakest point. In the same way, the enemy of our human nature investigates from every side all our virtues, theological, cardinal, and moral. Where he finds the defenses of eternal salvation weakest and most deficient, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm.”

The enemy will attack at our weakest point. Of this we can be reassured. To counteract the enemy’s tactics, it is best to proactively examine ourselves to identify our weak points, and ideally take action to shore them up. For me, two of my weak points are feelings of “not good enough” and wanting to please everyone.  I deliberately do things to fortify these areas.

It is a small step to extend this principle to other parts of our lives as well, because the enemy works in our day-to-day world. Where are you deficient in your business, as a leader, as a husband / wife / father / mother, as an employee, as a co-worker, as a spiritual leader, as a friend, as a fallible human being? Know the enemy is encamping and watching.  

Be strong, stay awake, and cover your dirt. 

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