Sin – and our strengths

In week two of this series, I offered a grouping of male and female attributes. Females tend to be relational networkers, who complete others, who are nurture-givers, and use words and relational smarts to bring order and resolve conflict.

Conversely, males tend to take the initiative, use their physical strength to work, provide, and protect, and they can be sacrificial in the way they express their love for their wives, family, and people.

You could put it this way. Each gender tends to have a nucleus of strengths or giftings. Males and females can use these traits to reflect God and bless others.

Sadly, we can also misuse our giftings, employing our God-given abilities for selfish ends.

Males abusing their physical strength is a regrettable but clear example of this. And this ‘sin’ turns up in Scripture. Deuteronomy has laws against men being sexually violent against women. Judges 19 also tells the gruesome story of males abusing their strength over a woman.

To use Old Testament biblical words, such actions are ‘detestable’, and ‘an outrage’. We ought to maintain this outrage against this detestable sin - one males appear more prone to.

Women have a way with words and larger verbal centres in their brains.

Does the abuse of this gifting also turn up in Scripture? Consider 1 Timothy 5:13 – where it is younger widows who may become “busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” Or the nagging wife as a dripping tap of Proverbs 27. Or Delilah, who overcomes Samson’s strength: “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.” (Judges 16:16)

As you consider what it means to be a son or a daughter of God, also ask yourself how Satan might tell half-truths and counter-narratives about how you can abuse your gifts for your own selfish ends.

Rev David Rietveld

Senior Minister

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