You see, some of my friends keep thinking that I know everything. Even when I have proven that to be wrong countless times.
Just a month ago I put in a new alternator in my truck, and then this last week I had to replace the battery. That afternoon I needed to go somewhere and my truck was completely dead. Even the boost my neighbor offered couldn’t put a spark of life into my truck. So I am kinda freaking out; first the alternator, then the battery and now something else.
I was sure it would be something big, but when I called my friends who know everything about cars, they kept assuring me that it was probably something really simple like a battery cable being loose. Turns out my friends know everything about cars and they were right. Simple fix.
But it is so much easier seeing other people’s strengths than our own. Maybe it is because we are sometimes so envious when they make things look easy that are really hard for us. Or maybe it is because our strengths often come so easy for us that we have a hard time appreciating the strength.
I think it is beautiful that we all have different strengths. It is what makes us do community. I think we are all selfish enough that if we didn’t need each other, we would quickly lose community.
So weaknesses are valuable. They remind us that we all have strengths to offer others while we need the strengths others bring to us. Maybe God was smart when He made us so different, eh?
I believe it is often impossible to truly appreciate your own strengths without being keenly aware of your own weaknesses. Maybe always. If there were no weaknesses there would be no strengths.
That principle also applies to community. People who have a hard time getting along with others are most often those who feel threatened by the people they have a hard time getting along with. And people feel threatened when they can’t identify their own strengths, and along with that, they can’t really admit their weaknesses. And since they can’t be honest about their own weaknesses, they can’t overlook other people’s weaknesses.
I am so glad that I have friends who know things about cars. I really don’t know much about them. And the more I learn about how different all of us are wired, the more I appreciate the fact that we do life together.