I grew up with a father that could fix anything. I mean anything. A broken washing machine? He could fix it. Need laminate on a counter? He could do it. Put wall tile on and finish it. It was done. Build a counter with drawers. It might take some time but he did it. Replace an electrical outlet. It would be done in a flash. You name it, he could fix it.
But when it came to resolving relational problems around the house, it was a different matter. He never learned how to talk through his problems because he never saw it with his parents. What he did see was a father that shut up and didn’t talk for weeks. He learned that from his dad and so we would see him clam up for weeks and not talk with anyone. When he began to talk the problem was seemingly over and we would converse as if nothing ever happened. He was an expert at fixing things, but was very limited when it came to solving relational ones. He was limited in his communicative abilities.
It’s important to know your limitations as to what you have the resources to fix as well as knowing what you aren’t good at solving. All of us have skills and abilities that cause us to choose professions where we can excel. Just because we can excel in one area of life doesn’t mean that we have the ability to excel in all other areas.
I was reading a passage of the bible this morning where it involved the priests of Israel being called upon by the King of Judah to collect money to fix the temple. It’s interesting to see what happened. “Let every priest receive the money from one of the treasurers, then use it to repair whatever damage is found in the temple.” But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple. Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple? Take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for repairing the temple.” The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves.”
2 Kings 12:5-8 NIV
You can see that the priests were good at collecting the money, but they had no concept for repairing the temple. They collected money for 23 years, and never got the job done. What I think is interesting is that King Joash told them to collect no more money, but to turn it over to the people who had the skills and abilities to do the work. They needed others because of their limitations to repair the temple.
On this journey we are going to be faced with obstacles that challenge our abilities. Knowing our limitations can open up opportunities to connect with others who have skills and abilities that we don’t. We need to be like the priests who admitted that they would not go beyond their limitations.