I try to be a well-rounded musician. I seek influence from many different genres. Although I listen to all types of music, I definitely have a comfort zone when it comes to what I can play. For example, in order to play a “simple” jazz standard I would have to essentially relearn how to play the guitar. I would have to learn new complex chords, new strumming patterns, and (worst of all) learn basic music theory. Sure, music theory can turn me into a better musician, but learning music theory sucks any and all enjoyment out of playing music.
Sometimes I will do everything in my power to cram an uncomfortable song into my comfort zone. This has led to some interesting results, such as turning a Canadian sea shanty into an 80’s power ballad or turning an 80’s power ballad into a solo acoustic folk tune. Why would I waste time learning to play a song authentically when I can just play it my way? Instead of a Jack of All Trades, Master of None I want to be a Jack of Few Trades, Master of One.
I fall into the same trap in my spiritual walk. I strengthen my strengths instead of strengthening my weaknesses. Seeking to work on our strengths to reach close to perfection is a worthwhile endeavor, yes. However sometimes we spend more time working on that little speck in our left eye when there is a log in our right eye that deserves more attention. Working on our weaknesses can feel humiliating. No matter how long we have studied, it’s like we have to start all over again. It is a cruel reminder that shows how little we know. It hurts our pride to see how flawed and ignorant we all are. So, we end up throwing ourselves a pity party and giving up because the task seems impossible. It only seems impossible because we are only relying on ourselves to strengthen our weaknesses when we need to lean on God. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
And when we find ourselves inevitably overwhelmed by our inability to strengthen our own weaknesses, then we must go to the Lord in prayer. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26.