Shaquem Griffin and Maximizing What You've Got

Shaquem Griffin and Maximizing What You've Got

The NFL Draft continues this weekend and many athletes will fulfill their childhood dream of being drafted. Leading up to the draft, many amazing backstories were shared about the draftees and we can’t help but want to root for many of them.

The one player drawing the most support and praise is linebacker Shaquem Griffin. He was born with amniotic band syndrome on his left hand, which is a congenital birth defect that prevents the fingers from fully developing.

Although his hand was amputated at 4-years-old, he has still been able to have a successful football career, including playing at The University of Central Florida. He even won the “2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year” and helped his team go undefeated in 2017.

He also played in the Senior Bowl, which led to an invite to the NFL combine where he wowed scouts with his skills and talent. He’s proven to be a good, productive football player who just happens to have an amputated left hand.

What I most appreciate about his approach to the game and his message to coaches or fans, is the focus he places on what he can do instead of what he can’t. He not only works hard and plays with passion, but is said to have “excellent acceleration and closing speed when rushing the passer.”

His abilities as a defender can translate well to the next level, so hopefully a team gives him a chance. A team must be willing to put an emphasis on what he can do instead of what he can’t—what he does have instead of what he lacks.

That’s actually the case with all players. Despite having two workable hands, some may be slow or lack size. No player can do it all, so maximizing what they can do is much more important than worrying about what they can’t.

Likewise, this is true for us as followers of Jesus. God has given each of us specific and unique gifts, skills, and abilities. At the same time, we lack in certain areas and have countless weaknesses.

If we aren’t careful, we can be discouraged by what we can’t do and miss out on maximizing the wonderful things we can do. There’s no point in dwelling on our limitations or disabilities or what others can do that we can’t.

We are all responsible for serving and glorifying God with the gifts, talents, and resources He’s given us—and do the best we can with what we have.

When it comes to spiritual gifts, 1 Peter 4:10 (AMP) explains, “Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].”

In regard to resources, 2 Corinthians 8:12 (AMP) says, “For if the eagerness [to give] is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”

Today, let’s be encouraged to think more about what we can do to serve God and people. We don’t have it all and can’t do it all, but let’s be thankful for the many gifts, skills, and resources we’re able to utilize and enjoy each day.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess I compare myself to others and dwell on certain things I can’t do. Please help me shift my focus to what I can do and what you’ve specifically called me to do with the gifts You’ve given me. Thank you for my many blessings. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.