Dying on the Battlefield of Well-Roundedness

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Yesterday I grabbed the Xbox controller again, as I have the past several weeks since my daughter, Liv, and her boyfriend, Jacob, have been back home for the summer. Every time I play Call of Duty, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten worse – not better – than the last time I played.

Yesterday I finished third place (Yes, that’s the same as last place when three people play, but third still gets a ribbon in most contests. It just sounds better to me.) every game we played. Finally, in utter disgust of my inability to coordinate my hands and eyes quickly enough to avoid being killed before taking out my two “enemies,” I declared, “This is my last game.” Death is death. I was dead. And I was done.

I don’t have the natural talent to kill imaginary enemies on my TV screen. I can do it. But, I’m not good at it.

Gaming isn’t my sweet spot.

I watch people, particularly leaders, painfully strive to be good at everything. And for many leaders, the temptation seems legitimate. After all many of us have been told that we can and do many things really well. I’ve been told this often.

Yes, that sounds self-aggrandizing, like I’m all that and a bag of chips. I’m not all that, and I’m certainly not a bag of chips. But, there are many things related to leading people, ministry, guest services, and systems that I can do.  The question is – should I do everything I’m capable of doing?

Andy Stanley points out that our sweet spot is the stuff that…

  • energizes us
  • motivates us
  • only we can do
  • God made us to do

There are several things that are close seconds and thirds to my sweet spot. However, when I continue to do those things I …

  • expend energy that is less than productive
  • get less done that really counts
  • rob other people of their own sweet spot
  • buy the lie that I need to be a well-rounded leader and do it all

Years ago Stanley nailed me with this last consequence: buying the lie that I need to be a well-rounded leader.

I’m convinced that for many of us the lie gets motivated from that place of insecurity most of us try to hide. We want desperately to prove to ourselves and to others that “we’ve got it.” That we can do it. The notion of delegation and team gets all twisted up with the notion that to give away and empower is actually weakness.

In a sense it is. To give away and empower others often rightfully comes from admitting, “I’m not a 10 at everything.” We don’t like to see the things we’re “not so strong at” defined as weaknesses. And when we get close to that realization, we fall for the lie that we’d better shore up those weak places so people don’t stop believing in us.

What is it that causes us to think we must see everything we can possibly do as a “sweet spot?” Is it pride? People-pleasing? Shame? A competitive spirit?

It’s not the Spirit of Jesus, that’s for sure.

The Scriptures declare us – US – to be the body of Christ. People who are each gifted in various “sweet spots;” people who need each other in order to be the body of Jesus.

Do the hard work of inviting others to live in their sweet spot alongside you. Allow them to live out their strengths –which happen to be your “weaknesses.” Give away more of what you’re ultimately responsible for.

Don’t die on the not-so-imaginary battlefield of self-aggrandizing “I can do this.”

 

Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! (1 Corinthians 12 MSG)