Working Within Your Limits

by | May 12, 2022

I have a hunch that you can do a lot of things. I bet you can teach and train, administrate and organize, reach out to potential clients, and follow up on current ones. I don’t doubt that you have acquired enough knowledge to weigh in on most of the topics that come up at work. You probably even have the experience to help guide the strategy of your company. You can accomplish a myriad of things, but should you?

I love a story that appears in Exodus 18. I encourage you to look it up when you have a minute. It features Moses, arguably the greatest leader in the Old Testament, and his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro had heard all the amazing things that God had done for the people of Israel, and so he wanted to pay Moses a visit in the wilderness. It was a wonderful reunion filled with firsthand accounts of miraculous events, conversations that glorified God, and worship.

Then Moses went to work.

I like to imagine that Jethro observed proudly as Moses took his seat, so satisfied with the wisdom, skill, and leadership of his daughter’s husband. But as daytime turned to night Jethro became troubled enough to blurt out something akin to, “What in the world are you doing?!?”

Do you have a Jethro in your life?

  • Someone who celebrates with you?
  • Someone who connects with you on a deep and spiritual level?
  • Someone who knows your gifts and abilities and can recognize when you are doing too much?
  • Someone who loves you enough to say, “What in the world are you doing?!?”

Jethro was wise enough to see that the way Moses was working wasn’t good for him or the people he was leading.

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. (Ex. 18:17-18)

I’m not sure why Moses was working like that. A leader as sharp as Moses must have known the art of delegation but he wasn’t practicing it. Why? The bible doesn’t say but maybe it was as simple as he knew he could and thought he should.

You are sharp and skilled and can do a lot of things. But there are some things that only you can do, things that God has prepared for only you to do. Ephesians 2:10 is a verse we refer to a lot. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Take a moment today to look at your calendar and your to-do list. What can you entrust to others? What can you let go of? And consider: Maybe what you’re holding onto, wanting to control or do out of convenience might be the very thing someone else was created to do.

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Darrel Harvey

Darrel Harvey, Director of the Workmatters Institute, joined the Workmatters team in March of 2019. Before joining the Workmatters team, his vocation had been expressed as a church planter, pastor, mentor, entrepreneur, and as a connector in the Bentonville business community.