That annoying friend

September 30, 2011
Terrell and Janna Wiebe |

Another realization on the walk of faith:

We all have that annoying friend. Not the one that whines too much or the one that cancels plans last minute, but the one who is annoying because they are so darn good at everything they do.

Music? Check! They can play guitar, piano, and they have a beautiful voice.

Athleticism? Double check! They somehow managed to play every sport possible while still having time for friends and doing well in school. Which leads to…

Brains? You bet! They out-think you, they get better grades than you and they are so annoyingly humble about it all.

But surely not public speaking? Au contraire, they have no qualms with multitudes of eager listeners.

Don’t those people just make you mad? Especially when they are your friends and are such nice people. Grrr!!

Today Janna and I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit which was being broadcast to a nearby church. One of the speakers got me thinking about my own leadership abilities and to whom I attribute them to. I have heard countless times that we owe everything we are to God. God gave gifts to each of us and we are to serve God with those gifts. Yet, I think I always assumed that at least some of my abilities and gifts, be they athleticism, music, or leadership were a result of my own doing. I thought I had actually done something right somewhere in life that I would be granted the some of the gifts and abilities I have.

This probably is not ground breaking for anyone else but it was for me.

You mean all of my gifts, and all of the abilities I possess, are only mine because God bestowed them on me? I can’t take any of the credit for myself? Not even just a little? I so desperately want to take the credit.

As we all have that annoying friend who is good at everything we all probably know someone who is very much the opposite. They don’t really seem to have as many gifts or abilities. They are not good at school, they have no co-ordination, they are too shy to speak in public and they can’t keep in tune to save their life.*

It is because of these people that I want to take credit for my own abilities. I want to convince myself that I am better than them because of the things I can do that they cannot.

We are all God’s children and we are called to use what gifts we have been given to glorify God. Some gifts are more evident than others and some abilities make people more visible than others but each person is equal because God loves us each the same.

I used to genuinely pity those who seemed to be lacking in the talent department. I realize now that perhaps it should have been me who was to be pitied. I was the one who was arrogant enough to think that my abilities were a result of something I was doing and in some way made me better than others.

I hope I can start to call everyone I meet an equal, no matter their abilities or gifts. And I hope I can keep my jealously in check around those annoying yet wonderful friends.


*I realize that this list of gifts and abilities is very confining and that there are plenty more that could be mentioned. However, I also believe that these make up the bulk of the abilities that our society finds most important in a person. In retrospect another post could be written on the influences of our world and the importance that is placed on some gifts and not others.

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