Know Your Limitations

Jerry had come to the Church I was leading to preach a revival. He was a dynamic speaker and had some unparalleled success. He took over as a college president of a small Christian college. It had pulled itself out of debt under his leadership. Also, they had reestablished their priority of training ministers for the local Church and were doing a good job.

While serving as a president, he started working with a small group of believers. Soon it grew, and now he was also leading a growing Church.

So I was delighted when he willingly came to my little Church on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to speak each night at the revival and train the Church leaders at a couple of private meetings.

His insights were phenomenal. I took copious notes on leadership, organization, evangelism, and future planning. Finally, on Wednesday, I sat down with him and talked before he left town.

I asked question after question about things he had said during those days. He would frequently say, “I have a great article about that topic for you.” Then he would say, “Our Church has that implemented, and I will send you the paperwork.” Finally, I asked, “Would you like some paper to write all this down.” He declined and responded, saying, “I have a near photographic memory. I will remember to send you all this information when I get home.” I gave him my business card with my email and mailing address, confident in his reply.

I waited a week, and nothing came. “Oh well, he is just busy.” I thought. Then two weeks, a month, two months, and still nothing arrived. Six months passed, and then a year before, I finally gave up hope of receiving anything.

I have often wondered why he was unwilling to write down a few notes. I honestly think he was a good man who didn’t know his limitations. Unfortunately, he took on too much with all his presidential and preaching responsibilities to remember my questions. The result was that I was disappointed, and my Church may have missed better leadership resulting from his instructions.

It seems like a small thing, but even if you are good at something, you need to know your limitations. Relying on your talent will only take you so far. You will miss opportunities, disappoint others, and often limit God’s work through you.

Most people I lead do not claim to have a near photographic memory, but many rely on their talent and do not use the available tools. As a result, their spiritual growth is stagnant, their marriage is stuck, and their service is limited because they refuse to use something to make their work easier and better.

So my simple question is, “What tools are you using that will help you have a greater impact for the kingdom of God?”

Know your limitation, and then find the resources to help you move beyond them.

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