By: Darrelyn L. TuttCan you identify your strengths?The majority of individuals who are asked this question identify their "gifts" as their strengths. While gifts are notable, they are not the same thing.------Gifts speak to specific "arenas" of excellence. They are grace endowments from God that platform us privately or publicly in a specific setting or task:-Sally is a gifted artist.-Brian is a gifted architect.-Kim is a gifted speaker.-Tom is a gifted mechanic.-Kelly is a gifted singer.These are gifts possessed by individuals.------- Strengths speak to our internal DNA.Strengths are what we "apply" to every day scenarios, experiences, trials, and even gifts.Strengths are the set of "life skills" instilled in us for growth, learning, and development; and of inestimable value to the kind of lives we lead:-Mary is organized, systematic, and practical. -Joe is perceptive, insightful, and thoughtful.-Callie is quick, sharp, and witty.-Shawn is slow, methodical, and visual.-Hally is resilient, resourceful, and energetic.Strengths are internal "properties" which attach themselves to life experiences and can be applied anywhere and everywhere.Each of these individual's "strengths" will be observed, applied, and adjusted to a scenario or problem presented.Can you see the difference and the value in distinguishing them?-------It was pointed out to me, without ever being realized by me, that our "strengths" are generally overlooked and undervalued because they are utilized in everything we do. They are so readily enmeshed in our "thinking and doing" we miss out on their appropriated value. But see here with me, my friend, what was revealed and pointed out to me in a counseling room about my "strengths" and those things deemed "strengths."1) A willingness to assume personal responsibility catapults me to unusual growth and development and characterizes true leadership.Hmmm ... 2) A resilience forged in me through early years of trauma and unnatural experiences naturally situates and accommodates itself to crisis and sizeable calamity.Hmmm ...3) Relational arenas, beginning with my walk with Christ, secures me with an unshakable status in position and identifies my personhood and development in a unique and defining way. My love for people and depth of relationship hinges and flows from my first love for Jesus.Hmmm ...4) A resourcefulness outfits me which is unusually expansive. My networking sphere extends and joins me with a host of resources far beyond what the average person possesses. I utilize what's around me for growth's sake and continually contribute new resources to my life as a result.Hmmm ...5) A high level of curiosity serves of notable value in securing me with a constant change and flux in viewpoint, thought pattern, and articulating skills. It also leads and propels me to new environments, experiences, and "curious" people exchanges.Hmmm ...6) Enthusiasm ... I have a lot of it and it's contagious.Hmmm ...--------Rethink your "strengths" and identify them.Appreciate the components and qualities that make you, "you."Use them for the glory of God,the good of others,and the growth of your soul.