Originally Posted May 23 2016
What is strength? I mean people keep asking for it… and looking for it…
“To be strong and independent!” “I need to be stronger!” “We are a strong nation!” “Don’t show weakness!” “I only want a strong man!” “I only want a strong woman!” “My coffee needs to be strong enough to bench press a car AS I drink it!”
I mean, the pursuit of strength and fear of weakness has such a huge impact on our society but what on earth is it??
I mean… some would say “Strength is the ability to be yourself no matter what others say!” but… that is a use of strength… not what strength is… and to tell you honestly… there’s a limit to the strength of someone who tosses away the advice of others so that pursuit of strength holds an ultimate weakness…
Others might say “I will know I’m strong when my biceps will kiss my pecs when I flex!” but again… is that strength? It’s a little disturbing… but honestly a lot of the physically strongest people I’ve met have also been some of the weakest, so what strength is in physical strength?
Strength is the ability to protect those you care about? To do the right thing even when it’s hard? To seek improvement in all things? All these are forms of strength but not strength in itself. So what is strength??
Well… simplest way I can put it is this:
Strength is the ability to overcome difficult obstacles.
….yeah… that’s it… when you really boil it down, that’s all that strength ultimately is. Ironically though, strength on its own is fairly weak. We see this a lot in our culture now a days.
Without wisdom, strength can only take you so far. It is one thing to be able to fight battles, but it is another to be able to know which battles are worth fighting. If you are the type of person who will threaten underpaid employees for slow service, stand up for your beliefs by belittling others INSTEAD of supporting your own arguments, or believe you can out argue anyone with logic without first thinking ‘do they want to listen?’ then… I am sorry… but your ‘strength’ is probably doing more damage than good.
Strength is power, but wisdom is precision.
But that being said. Even with wisdom, strength can still be dangerous. I have met many strong and wise people who have destroyed many including themselves… why? Because without love, strength and wisdom will tell you how to fight, but not what you’re fighting for.
If you focus your life on destroying those who oppose you… I am sorry, you have no future. There is no hope for a destroyer. They will only achieve their goals by ultimately destroying themselves as they have destroyed everything else in their lives. The world will be dark and empty. There will be no hope or light. All their world will be consumed by the darkness they cannot snuff out and that seems to grow the more they fight it. This is how hatred works. It spreads. To those around you, and through yourself until you are saturated with it and it is all you see.
This is where love comes in. Don’t fight to destroy those who oppose you. Fight to build a brighter future. Fight to protect those who are hurting. Someone who is strongly fighting to build and protect will actually never even see the enemy save for when they are foolish enough to try to cross you. You will be far too busy and too focused on those you care about and look out for to be distracted by them.
So where does this bring us? Well… if we truly want to be strong people, I guess we need to realize some things…
1. A strong person is not a destroyer. Any weakling can destroy. A strong person will build and protect.
2. Strength alone is not strength at all. Without wisdom for precision, and love for aim, there is no strength in strength. Only a wild and indiscriminate force
3. The strong soul does not always walk the path we expect.I mean… let’s admit it. Who doesn’t like to get all worked up? “OH MAN! I AM TOTALLY GONNA POST THESE PRO *insert trendy cause* STATUS AND CHANGE THE WORLD BY FRUSTRATING PEOPLE BY MUD SLINGING! AND THEN! IF ANYONE STANDS AGAINST ME I’M GONNA TEAR A STRIP OUT OF THEM LETTING OUT ALL MY SUPPRESSED ANGER LIKE A TRUE RAGING STRONGMAN!”
news flash… rage and hatred is not true strength… actually they take very little strength to use… they come quite naturally to us… It takes true strength to keep scrolling. It takes true strength to weather the insults. It takes IMMENSE strength to see someone who hates your guts and everything you care about and think “…that person is still a wonderful human being loved by God and I still care about them.”
I’m a simple guy myself. I have two modes. Support, and annihilate, and have trouble with anything in between. If someone is a jerk, or hurting people I care about, or spreading false info about something I care about, I think about how easy it would be just to absolutely and utterly destroy them, and how good it would feel doing it… but that is not strength… nor is strength built from doing that… nor is anything accomplished by doing that…
I do not weather storms well… so quite often I try to dodge and avoid instead… but life calls for more than that… I don’t know if true strength is ever achievable but… it’s worth fighting for… it’s worth growing in… We are meant for more than just destruction… we are stronger than we ever know… we just have to use the true strength, not the fake one our society has come to worship and uphold