I have been given glorious gifts and ministries by God with which to serve him and his church. So have you. One or two of these are notably stronger than others, and I derive great joy and satisfaction from pursuing and indulging myself in them.
At the same time, I am very noticeably weak in other areas. One of the humbling, and sometimes shameful, aspects of this is that I am too often blind to my own weaknesses and faults. We all tend to operate on our strong points, but this can easily lead to a myopic and incomplete and ineffective busyness. This tendency can also be fractious in a community.
These two things—finding our strengths and recognizing our weaknesses—are part of every one of us in Christ’s church. I have given up trying to develop strengths in all areas of my life and ministry; and I need to abandon any effort to compensate for my weaknesses by focusing only on where I am strong. In short, I simply cannot do everything well… or even poorly. I need other people who are strong where I am not. I need to see what they see… and I cannot see. I need them to do what I cannot. I need others to feel what I am missing. And they need me. This all sounds quite Pauline, does it not—rather like Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 12, or Ephesians 4?
So, first, we all must humble ourselves before the only One who was the best at everything. The church and the world belong to Christ, after all. Everyone who is part of his church should be submitted to and dedicated to his plan and his way for achieving his purposes. He knows more than any of us, and even more than all of us together. So he made his church to be like him. No one person or group has ever reflected Jesus completely or perfectly. We all need him.
We need to recognize not only where we are strong, but where we are weak and incomplete. We must gather around us those family members who are able to see, do, and feel what we cannot. Together, we can pursue God’s calling. We are an army, not a bunch of Lone Rangers.
Collin Hansen has written a book to be released on April 30, titled Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, by Crossway, about this very thing. He writes much better than I (in a myriad of ways), and I anticipate his book eagerly. You can order the book and get a taste of it here .