Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Handicapped by our strengths

I am now two thirds of the way through two of the books that I listed in an earlier post and it just dawned on me that they are talking about the same thing: one from a Christian perspective; the other from a business perspective.

Chapter Six of The Power of Weakness begins by describing how two magnets will repel each other when we try to bring like poles together, then follows with this paragraph:

“We find something similar in the spiritual realm. Where we limit ourselves to our own human power, we will find His power repelled by the presence of our own. It is not that our power is equal to or greater than God’s; it is that we have chosen our own power over His. He does not overrule our decision, but neither does He give us His power.”

Multipliers describes the difference in management style between Multipliers, those who are able to stimulate the most productive efforts of those who work for them, and Diminishers, those who seem to stifle all creative ability in those who work for them. Here is a paragraph from Chapter Three:

“Tyrants are like a gas that expands and consumes all the available space. They dominate meetings and hog all the air time. They leave little room for anyone else and often suffocate other people’s intelligence in the process. They do this by voicing strong opinions, overexpressing their ideas and trying to maintain control. Garth Yamamoto, chief marketing officer at a consumer products company, uses up almost every cubic inch of space in the room. He jumps in and interrupts people’s presentations, he expresses very strong and extreme opinions, and either spends his time micromanaging or is noticeably absent. People warn newcomers in his division, ‘The art of being successful around here is figuring out Garth.’ One member of his group said, ‘I think I am atrophying here. I’m probably giving him about 50 percent.’ That person has since left the organization and is thriving in another company.”

The book says that Multipliers generally get twice as much productivity from their staff as the Diminshers do from theirs.

Looking at all this from the perspective of an individual Christian and putting it together leads me to some humbling conclusions:

– If I am sure that I understand my own God-given talents,abilities and temperament, I am apt to want to work in areas that I feel are best suited to my unique capabilities. I may say that this is my calling, the special work that God has given me to do. I will press on, confident that I can do this — and God will step back and let me do it. Then, when things don’t work out as expected, I will probably blame other people, and perhaps God too.

– God often helps us through other people. When I am strong I am not only pushing God away, I am also pushing other people away and depriving myself of the help and support that I could receive through them.

– It feels safe and comfortable in the box, but that is probably the most dangerous place to be. God wants me to get out of the box, out of my comfort zone, out into a place where I don’t have all the answers, where I don’t feel strong. There is where I will encounter God’s strength.

– Being weak does not mean that I am not capable of doing anything right and should just give up trying; it just means that I need help. And when I know that I need help and ask God for help, he will always send help.

Notes:

* Garth Yamamoto is a fictional name.

* The Power of Weakness, © 2014 by Dan Schaeffer, published by Discovery House, Grand Rapids MI

* Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, by Liz Wiseman with Greeg McKeown.  © 2010 by Liz Wiseman, published by HarperCollins

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