The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 3: The Missing Puzzle Piece

          Find the Missing Puzzle Piece – and Fit It In

          A jigsaw puzzle is set of numerous interlocking pieces which are assembled together to produce a complete picture, often of nature, landscapes, or a recognizable piece of art. Each piece is unique. When fit together, each piece contributes to the entire puzzle.

          A jigsaw puzzle is an apt depiction of the Body of Christ. Each of us represents a unique piece of the puzzle. As we discover our strengths and use them, we make a whole. When our strengths are combined, we also create opportunities for others around us to fit in, too.

          The Maddening Missing Puzzle Piece

          missing puzzle piece

          Image: Beta News

          Can there be anything more frustrating for a puzzler than to have completed a section (or even an entire puzzle) only to discover that one piece or more is missing? If ever there was a situation that underscores the importance of an individual piece – or an individual person and his strengths – this is it. Just as missing pieces result in an unfinished puzzle, so do missing strengths lead to an incomplete Body of Christ.

          Lest you believe that puzzle manufacturers routinely omit pieces by accident, rest assured that the puzzle industry has prodigiously stringent standards. A missing piece is hardly ever the result of a defective puzzle.

          God’s standards are even higher. He never omits a piece. It follows that when a puzzle piece goes missing, it can be restored. Pieces, whether they are part of a jigsaw puzzle or a part of the Body of Christ, can be found and can fit in. How does that happen?

          Take Time to Look

          Many times jigsaw puzzle pieces have been hidden underneath a cushion … unintentionally dropped … even overlooked in the box amidst the confusion or activity. A search leads to the piece’s discovery.

          It can be easy to overlook a person who doesn’t know his strengths. In all the confusion and activity, people can drop by the wayside or are simply go unnoticed.

          But when you stop to look at those around you (especially those who lack a sense of purpose or calling), you can point out their strengths. Reinforce what they do and encourage them. Take time to see the people God has placed in your path and speak intentionally into their lives.

          Point to the Manufacturer

          It may surprise you to learn that in cases when a jigsaw puzzle piece cannot be found, you can get one from the manufacturer. Many popular jigsaw puzzle manufacturers have created programs to replace individual pieces.

          You can do the same when a person you know is struggling to find his fit: point him to the Manufacturer. You may not know a person’s strengths. But God does.

          Most people naturally accept that every person is different. You may be the means God uses when you share truths about strengths with another person. The dialogue may even open a doorway to a conversation about faith. The exchange could go something like this:

          • Explain the mystery of differences – and that God intentionally designed people differently. “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Corinthians 12:18, ESV)
          • Explain that uniqueness is a gift: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, ESV)
          • Share ways people can discover their strengths. You might even point the person to the Leading From Your Strengths Profile.

          A missing puzzle piece is not a tragedy. It is an opportunity for you to encourage another person by affirming his strengths … and the chance for a person to find his unique strengths, use them, and grow in faith.

          Growth Point

          God can use you to help others find their strengths and fit in.

          Scripture

          God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. (1 Corinthians 12:18, ESV)

          Prayer Points

          • Why might people naturally accept that every person is different, yet struggle to see their own strengths?
          • Ask God to point you to a person who needs you to point out and affirm his strengths.
          • How can discovering and using strengths build up a person’s faith?

          Devotionals: The Puzzle of Strengths

          The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 1: The Puzzle of Unique Strengths

          The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 2: The Puzzle of Interlocking Pieces

          Devotionals: Ways the Disciples Used Their Strengths

          Part 1: Managing Change – Let’s Go or Let’s Make a Plan

          Part 2: Processing Information: That’s Wonderful or Give Me Proof

          Part 3: Problem Solving: Fix It Now or One Step at a Time?

          Part 4: Facing Risk: Outside the Box or Work the System?

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