"Gift of limitation"

Within North American Christianity, successful leaders are often described in certain terms: confident, independant, charismatic, driven, etc...

It's similar in generalizing about successful churches: growth, sustainability, clarity, virbrance leadership, etc...

None of these characteristics are bad or incongruent with faithful Christianity. Unless they become an end unto themselves. In the drive for success, Christians can forget and neglect the role of perceived weakness - failure even - as an accepted part of faithfulness. Such a concept can seem counterintuitive in our North American leadership context, but it's essential.

In the context of their discussion on the importance of a physical place for the church to inhabit, the authors of The New Parish summarize the role of accepting limitation in the context of a local neighbourhood (parish), a thought I think applies to our faith in general as well:

"God has given you the gift of limitation and responsibility. Limitations are a pointing to your need of the other, while responsibility reveals the other's need of you. What the phyiscal body is to a human person, the parish is to the body of Christ. The limitation is glorious. It is God's gift of enabling you to see and live into your need for others."

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Monirul Islam said...
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