24 Now I’m happy to be suffering for you. I’m completing what is missing from Christ’s sufferings with my own body. I’m doing this for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I became a servant of the church by God’s commission, which was given to me for you, in order to complete God’s word. 26 I’m completing it with a secret plan[c] that has been hidden for ages and generations but which has now been revealed to his holy people. 27 God wanted to make the glorious riches of this secret plan[d] known among the Gentiles, which is Christ living in you, the hope of glory. 28 This is what we preach as we warn and teach every person with all wisdom so that we might present each one mature in Christ.29 I work hard and struggle for this goal with his energy, which works in me powerfully.
Colossians 1:26-29, CEB
The third principle of neighborliness is Fallibility. Fallibility, in recovery language, is sort of like the first three steps. We are powerless over our unmanageable lives. We need a higher power to restore us to sanity. We submit ourselves to our higher power. We’re admitting the truth about ourselves. We are not infinite. We can’t solve every problem. We can’t control the entire world or even the portion of the world that is around us. It doesn’t mean that we have no control and that we’re totally incapable of doing anything good or right, but it does mean that we are inherently reliant on a God to provide us the resources we need to become the kinds of humans he wants us to be.
It takes a strong person to acknowledge fallibility. A very strong person. We are in a constant battle with our minds over what level of control we have with the world around us. We are always in danger of fooling ourselves into thinking we can sort out our problems on our own if we just have a little more time, or a little more money, or some such thing. Fallibility is the courageous act of putting our hands up in the air and admitting that we cannot plan our way out of life’s difficulties.