This is a spin-off of Marcus Buckingham’s statement in his book “Go Put Your Strengths to Work,” where he says (p.130), “We need to turn the best of our job into the most of our job.” I highly recommend this book for getting wisdom on who you truly are and living and ministering out of that understanding.
After 74 years of living with myself, and increasingly getting a better grasp on who I am and who I’m not, I’m convinced that a key to joy, satisfaction and fulfillment as a leader is discovering who God made you, and building on that.
Making the best of who you are the most of what you do is absolutely essential for Christians in general and leaders in particular.
Here are a few initial observations:
1. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses
2. Staff to your weaknesses and build complementary teams so you can play to your strengths.
3. If God wanted you to be somebody else, he would have made you somebody else.
4. Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
The comparison games are dangerous and harmful and amount to questioning God’s wisdom in creating you the way that he has.
According to Psalm 139:13-18, God hand-crafted you exactly as you are and as he wanted you to be.
Walt Disney said, "The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else and that's what makes you unique."
Here are some verses from The Message that have been extremely helpful to me in being okay with who God made me and not spending my time and energy trying to be someone else.
“…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Emphasis mine) Romans 12:6 (The Message)
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Emphasis mine) Matthew 5:48 (The Message)
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Emphasis mine) Galatians 6:4,5 (The Message)
“ Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing?” (Emphasis mine) 1 Corinthians 4:7 (The Message)
“The Animal School” is something I ran across many years ago. I have shared this story in many different contexts.
Please read it thoughtfully and prayerfully and ask the Lord for some insights/take-a-ways that you can apply to life and ministry.
The Animal School
The animals had a school. The curriculum consisted of running, climbing, flying and swimming. All the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was good in swimming and fair in flying, but he was terrible in running, so he was made to drop his swimming class and stay after school in order to practice his running. He kept this up until he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable. The others (including the teacher) were no longer threatened by the duck’s swimming ability. So everyone felt more comfortable--except the duck.
The eagle was considered a problem student. For instance, in climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but used his own method of getting there. He had to be severely disciplined.
Finally, because of non-cooperation in swimming, he was expelled for insubordination
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but was obviously inadequate in other areas. Because of so much make-up work in swimming, he had a nervous breakdown and had to drop out of school.
Of course, the turtle was a failure in most every course offered. His shell was considered to be the leading cause of his failures--so it was removed. That did help his running a bit, but sadly he became the first casualty when he was stepped on by a horse.
The faculty was quite disappointed. But, all in all, it was a good school in humility-- there were no real successes. None seemed to measure up to the others. But they did concentrate on their weak points and some progress was made.
- What are some observations you can draw from this story?
- In what ways might you be trying to be someone you're not?
- How could you get a better sense of who God made you to be and invest in that going forward?
As usual, your comments are encouraged and welcomed!