Most of us have at some point complained about our limitations. You might have said, “I don’t have enough money, enough of a budget, enough equipment, enough influence, enough people/volunteers and so on. As humans we naturally look at our inability or our LIMITATIONS and list out why we can’t accomplish what we’ve set out to do.
John Piper notes this is in his book, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. He points to the book of Lamentations, which is written in a strict poetic style that utilizes Hebrew acrostics. The level of difficulty and constraints placed upon the writer is high, limiting him to only certain types of words and syntax.
Yet, out of these constraints and restrictions, Jeremiah produces one of the most deeply emotional and poetic works within the Biblical canon. Exclaiming the beauty of contentment and trust in God, he writes,”Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Limitations are what define greatness. Limitations give you the goals that you need to set, the records that you need to break, the boundaries you need to grow beyond.
Limitations give us purpose
A runner who doesn’t limit himself to the rules of the race or keep within his running lane will never be successful. When we search the history books, the great winners and history-makers were not men of unlimited capabilities or resources, rather men who leveraged their every ability to grow within their lane. Limitations help us focus our aim to accomplish a single goal or purpose in life.
Limitations grow us creatively
One of my favorite quotes come from Orsen Welles, “the enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” I think the same can be said of life and ministry. Like Jeremiah who penned a great poem in the book of Lamentations, creativity is cultivated in the crucible of limitations.
Limitations give God glory
Jesus began his church with 12 unqualified men, many of whom were plain blue collar fisherman. Despite their limited ability they turned their world upside down. In fact, Paul assures us in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” If you are presently a follower of Jesus, congratulations…your an ‘idiot’…and God gets the glory because of it!