Whether in ministry or the marketplace, we all love the idea of playing to our strengths. And this isn’t a bad thing, certainly. When someone is doing something that they’re jazzed about, and they’re actually really good at, it’s pretty cool to see.
But here’s the thing: few of us get to work in our areas of strength all the time. In ministry, it’s pretty rad to be the guy preaching with conviction or be a part of the praise band. But chairs still need to be stacked at the end of the day, and kids still need to be discipled in children’s ministry. In business, it might be pretty awesome to make a big sale, but you’ve still got to file your paperwork.
This is one of the many reasons I’m thankful for the counterintuitive nature of our faith. Matt Chandler explains it well in To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain:
I know it’s very popular in the business world and even in the church world to say that we ought to only play to our strengths and spend little time on our weaknesses, but I don’t see that spirit of efficiency too much in the Bible. We don’t get that luxury in our faith. By dwelling in our weaknesses, we can linger with God and rely on His gracious love. And in sorting our strengths from our weaknesses, we can begin to develop the sort of holy discontentment that underlies Paul’s instructions to the Philippians to “press on.” (p. 116)
Here’s the thing I’ve found: our weaknesses make us better.
Imagine you’re a gym rat. You love working your biceps and triceps… basically anything that makes your arms look all beefcake, you’re down with. But you hate doing leg workouts. So you just don’t do them. What happens? You might have 18-inch biceps, but you’ve got skinny little chicken legs!
And that’s kind of a problem.
When we recognize where we are weak, we have to work at it to get stronger. Our weaknesses make us better, not just in the sense that they bring humility, reminding us that we’re never as good as we think we are; they fuel the sort of discontentment that grows us in godliness.