Managing Your Gift: Constraints Are Your Friend

You have a gift; how do you manage it? That’s the question at hand.

Right now, you believe that more freedom would allow you to better exercise your gift. Right now, I kind of believe that, too.

It’s probably false.

I used to live with no financial constraints, and it turned me into an irresponsible spender. After living under financial constraint, I recognize the importance of constraints in developing financial responsibility.

I used to live with no time constraints. If I wanted to spend a weekend programming, I could do that. More recently, I have taken on more responsibility, and it’s forced me to think what to do and what not to do. I don’t push myself harder; rather, I question myself harder.

This week I have some projects at work that feel like they’re outside of my sweet spot. The truth is, if I can find a way to operate in my sweet spot within that context, I’ll be able to carry my gifts into a wealth of additional opportunities.

I am a visionary. I love ideas. I love new things. In the past, I fulfilled this by traveling, living internationally, doing some studying, and changing jobs. Today, I’m stuck. I’m stuck with my job. I’m stuck where I live. Because of these constraints, I’ve been forced to exercise my love for change within the context of work, which has made me more productive and more creative.

This applies to relationships.

Marriage is a constraint, and it forces you to deal with your weaknesses because, like it or not, you’re stuck.

The same commitment to the church will produce similar results.

Many people face the fear of constraint, and it keeps them from realizing much of their potential. It’s not your enemy. It’s your friend.

It’s no surprise that the successful technology companies have intentionally placed constraints on their designs and executions. It forces creativity.

In fact, this principle is so good that even my mom uses it. To this day, we enjoy a special variety of chicken pizza that she devised under a crazy time constraint.

What are the constraints that you’re fighting right now? How can you turn them into tools that allow you to use your gifts to bring greater glory to God?

One comment

  1. Excellent words. We often attack our constraints or run from them instead of seeing them as friends.

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