Everyone has limitations, which means that no one can do everything. But while everyone has limitations, not everyone knows their limitations.
When you don’t know your limitations, you’re likely to spend too much time doing things you’re not gifted to do (of course, we all have to do things we’re not gifted to do occasionally, but the key is to spend most of our time in our areas of giftedness, the things we were wired to do).
When you don’t know your limitations, you also tend to try to do more than you should. You do things that you have no business doing (things you’re not good at, things that prevent you from working in the areas of your giftedness).
I think Christ-followers have trouble with knowing their limitations. One reason may be verses of Scripture like …
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It’s a great statement, of course, but I don’t think Paul meant that we can do everything well or even that we should try to do everything. That’s not realistic. But when we partner with God, in doing the things he calls us to do, that’s when God empowers us to complete the task at hand. God will help us do everything that he wired us to do. That’s what honors God!
I am a visionary leader. In a class at Asbury on “Visionary Leadership,” I remember defining visionary leadership as …
- Getting the vision
- Casting the vision
- Navigating the vision
As I reflected on those elements, I realized that I’m comfortable with the first two parts, but not so much in the last one. I think this is common for visionary leaders. The first two areas more “big picture” oriented and the last part deals with the day-to-day details of following through with the vision. Visionary leaders (who always need to keep an eye on the big picture) can get lost or bogged down in the details.
Do you know what you’re not good at? And just as importantly, do you know those things that you should either not be doing or should be doing less? In other words, do you know what’s on your To-Not-Do list as well as your To-Do list?