Excel in Your Strengths!
Way back in the early 90s, I met a couple that was in ministry together. The husband was a preacher and the wife was a singer. They were incredibly sweet and genuinely nice to be around. I was excited to hear them speak later that evening.
As soon as they began that service, it was obvious something was off about the situation. The wife was awkward as she sang and unfortunately missed many of the notes she was singing. The husband nervously fumbled around in his message, admitting to not having an outline or idea of what he was supposed to speak about. Things were not going well for either of them.
Then something amazing happened. After about twenty minutes of rambling, the husband gave up trying to preach, and they decided to sing a song together.
His voice was amazing! There were no "Got Talent" shows then, but he could have easily done well in one.
Then his wife spontaneously began to speak from her heart. She was utterly incredible! She was passionate about what she was saying, she was knowledgeable about everything she talked about, and she connected with the audience almost immediately.
They were what they had set out to be--a successful ministry couple--but they were unfortunately in reversed roles. She was a gifted and obviously anointed speaker, whereas he was an amazing and talented singer. Yet somewhere along the line, someone must have told them what their roles were meant to be and this couple believed them. They weren't as effective as they could be because neither of them was operating in their strengths.
It's incredibly important to know what your strengths are and to operate effectively using them--but it's also important to be honest enough with yourself that you can admit your weaknesses and get help in those areas if needed when finishing a project.
I know a man who is a very organized, logical, linear thinker. He exudes a professional attitude and has the potential to deliver a quality product. But he is not in any way, shape, or form creative. If he finds a way to do something that works one time, that is how he will do it for years. His company's calendar looks almost identical each year as far as special events go because he doesn't come up with new ideas. When he tries to step into a creative realm, he is immediately and obviously out of his depth. Sometimes he will admit this, and sometimes he will ignore it.
The unfortunate thing is that everyone else in the company can easily tell the moments he steps in to "help" creatively. The quality of their campaigns and events suffers, and the creative team in the company has to scramble into damage control mode. He goes from being this charismatic, confident leader to an awkward amateur and everyone sees it, yet he will not admit it to himself.
Sometimes the most important thing you can do is simply know your role and do the absolute best you can in it. Be willing to admit it when you aren't strong in an area. That doesn't mean you can't learn to do it later or that you have to give up on ever being able to do it. It simply means that you are confident enough in who you are to say "This isn't my strong point right now so I'm going to defer to someone who is better suited for this".
I can do some incredible magic tricks, but I am not in any way an artist. I love comic books but I couldn't draw a good sketch of Batman if I had to. On the other hand, I have a friend who is an amazing artist. When I need something artistic done, she is the first person I think of to contact. But she is not a magician, meaning if she ever needed entertainment for an event, she'd call me.
I am completely fine with the fact that I am not an artist. I'm not a carpenter either, even though my grandfather was skilled at it. I can't write songs like my oldest son does, or play drums as well as my youngest son can. I'm nowhere near as good with numbers as my wife is, nor am I as skilled a businessman as my father. But I know these things and readily admit them.
I will always continue to strive to be better. I try to learn whenever I can, but until I get to the point that I can successfully do a thing consistently I am better off letting someone help me make it happen. I can stand proudly with my team on a successful project saying, "We made this happen!", or I can stand proudly alone on a pile of ashes saying, "I did this by myself!". The former is the better choice.
Be honest with yourself about your strong points and act on them. If you are unsure of the areas where you truly flourish, ask some close friends and co-workers for honest feedback. Then you can begin to work on your weak points.
I have no idea if the couple I talked about at the beginning of this post ever figured out the truth about their situation. I never got to see them in action again after that night, but I hope they got some truthful counsel from someone they respected and were able to have a successful ministry together. Their potential was incredible!
Know what you are good at and excel in it. Let your team step in to help where you aren't the strongest. I can promise you that you aren't hiding your weaknesses anywhere near as well as you think you are. Denying your weaknesses doesn't make them go away. Embracing them and striving to improve them can diminish them over time.
Let your strength shine today!