We as people are prone to something I’d like to call the “Idiot Complex”. I confess that “idiot” is a strong word, but I picked it for a reason. I wanted a word that you can hang onto, and “idiot” is definitely one of those.
This a simple concept that can either destroy us or bring us together, and it works in two directions.
“You’re an idiot.”
Most of us would never say that to someone else’s face, but there are times when we think it. “Why doesn’t she catch on?” “Why is he doing it that way?” “They should….”
There are times when we have these you’re-an-idiot thoughts just because we’re feeling mean and spiteful, or sometimes it’s just because we don’t really understand the situation. But sometimes it’s more than that. Maybe the problem isn’t with them. Maybe the problem is with us.
Maybe your problem is that you have a gift and you don’t realize it. You might see something, but it doesn’t mean that everyone else sees it. You might be good at something, but it doesn’t mean that everyone else is good at it. That’s why we call it a gift, and that’s why it’s unique.
Unfortunately, because we maintain a you’re-an-idiot attitude, no one else benefits from our gift. We talk to our friends about others’ idiocy, we grumble about it under our breath, but we fail to use our strengths to help others because we’re more aware of their weakness than our own strength.
If we choose to, we can use our sanctified you’re-an-idiot thoughts to pinpoint some of the areas God has gifted us. (“What is easy for me that others struggle with?”) We can use that, no longer to dishonor or degrade others, but to honor them and empower them.
“I’m an idiot.”
The Idiot Complex also works in the opposite direction as the I’m-an-idiot complex. This happens when you meet someone who’s gotten over the you’re-an-idiot complex and is willing to offer his or her strengths to help you. Your pride tells you, “I should have known that,” and it echos into your soul, “I’m an idiot.”
The first step, of course, is coming to grips that you’re not an idiot. God doesn’t make junk. Just accept it. Rather, you just met someone else whom God has gifted differently than you, and they’re offering their gifts to help you out. If you honor them in that way, you will benefit from their gifts.
You can also use this to your own advantage. Watch out for your sanctified I’m-an-idiot thoughts. Sometimes we wake up and realize, “You know, I keep trying to do this, and I’m really bad at doing this!” And then we ask, “Is there someone else who is really good at doing this who should do this instead of me?” In this way, your sanctified I’m-an-idiot thoughts can help you step out of the way to empower other people to do what they have been called to do.
It happened to me this week. Several people were bold enough to ask me, “Hey, have you thought about it this way?”
They could have called me an idiot to their friends.
They could have sat back and said nothing.
I could have called myself an idiot.
I could have gotten defensive and written it off.
But this time, they didn’t, and I didn’t. Because of that, I benefited from their gifts.
That, my friends, is at the core of honor and the core of what it means to a part of the body of Christ, to be His bride, to be His church.
Because He alone is worthy.