One indelible memory from my childhood is of a boy about my age walking on crutches. Each time he took a step with his right foot, his left leg swung limply a few inches off the ground. He wore mismatched brown leather shoes, and the left was noticeably smaller than the right. “Polio,” my mother explained when the boy was out of earshot. “His short leg has stopped growing.” “Will it ever catch up?” I asked. “No,” she said, “the damage is permanent.” I imagined how that boy must have felt, knowing that his body would never be quite whole.

Most of us can thank God for two healthy legs. He also equipped us with two foundational pillars for life, and those are even more important to our overall well-being—“who we are,” which is our identity in Christ, and “what we do,” our character and our calling. As long as both are built on the right foundation and develop at a steady rate, our lives have symmetry and balance. But if we concentrate on one to the neglect of the other, we lose that balance. And if it is “who we are” that gets neglected, which is often the case, we can stop growing emotionally and spiritually as we should.

Fortunately, unlike physical handicaps caused by polio and other crippling diseases, we can always work at bringing our lives back into proper balance, and God is always happy to work with us toward that end. In fact, He wants to help us reach our full potential and become the people He knows we can be.