Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
It is amazing the number of people who won’t have a go at something—they feel afraid, and end up limiting themselves to what they think they can do. I saw an interesting statement: “The only thing limiting us in life is our belief that there are limits”.
Chuck Swindoll in one of his books said:
Attitude, to me, is more important than money, circumstances, failures, successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
This says to me: don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited. They are probably wrong in their assessment of you. Because we are humans, we are far more flexible than we think.
We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
When we look at the success and lives of others, we sometimes feel a touch of envy, and say that’s not fair. Why doesn’t that happen to me? Why can’t I have it like them? They get all the breaks. If we are not careful, we can become so consumed with envy and jealousy of others, we will miss out on what it is we are capable of having or doing ourselves. Life is always going to be unfair.
God has something special and unique for you, because of who you are. We’re all different with various strengths and talents, as well as the limitations we have. None of us are limited in exactly the same way. I think the real issue is: Will we learn from our limitations or use them as an excuse to not reach the potential God has placed within us?
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Don’t Compare Yourself With Others
I like the American TV commercial for FedEx, the speedy postal delivery service. It was based on the movie Castaway. A plane went down with a survivor who had a FedEx parcel in his posession. Five years later he delivered the parcel to a lady; when she comes to the door, she was grateful the parcel eventually arrived, and thanks him.
But the man was intrigued what was in the parcel. He had survived five years on a desert island, and had never opened the parcel, trying to keep it in good order. So she opens the parcel. “Oh there’s not much in here, except a satellite phone, GPS, a compass, water purifier, and some seeds”. He had the resources for survival, but didn’t use them. It’s like us—God has given us so much we don’t use.
Our temptation in facing limitations is to play the comparison game. Nothing destroys our contentment and peace quicker than comparing ourselves to others. This is incredibly destructive behaviour, and becomes a burden we can do without. Don’t compare your worst to someone else’s best. Some of us are more successful than others—but we all have weaknesses.
Don’t compare your worst to someone else’s best.
Don’t let comparison steal the joy from your own life. Accept yourself as you are. Life is far too short to waste time comparing yourself to others. Galatians 6:4 says: “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others”. If you ask him, God can direct your heart towards contentment and gratitude.
How Paul Faced His Circumstances
Limitations, setbacks and problems are a real fact in life. In the New Testament, Paul expressed his feelings in part of 2 Corinthians:
- We are handicapped on all sides, but we are never frustrated.
- We are puzzled, but never in despair.
- We are persecuted, but we never have to stand it alone.
- We may be knocked down, but we are never knocked out.
This great Christian leader never let himself be limited by circumstances.
When we finally realise our limitations and handicaps, we then have the ability for a real breakthrough. As Christians, we are called to live in the real world, not some fantasy of God simply coming down and wiping away every problem and every tear.
Sometimes we impose limits on our ability to deal with our problems, because we tried something a long time ago and it didn’t work. We may have been limited in our ability to find a solution in God ever since that failure way back then.
(To be continued in Don’t Let Your Limits Stop You – Part 2)