What prevents us from following God’s call? For a number of us, it is a simple question, “who am I?” The world demands an answer from us. Often, we’re pressured to be the best, to excel, to prove our worth, and, in this economy especially, “why should I hire you over the thousands of others? What sets you apart?”
If you find yourself answering, “You shouldn’t. I am nothing special,” you are not alone in your self doubt. I and a tragic thousands other struggle with that inner-critic. Too often, we end up telling god that also. “Lord, I’ve never been the worst of sinners, nor am I the holiest of saints. What can I do for you?”
Some of us will even proceed to list off to God a long list of faults that we often desperately hope no one will notice and declare us frauds. If we’re still, and listen, at the end, he quietly reminds us we’re far from alone.
The Corinthians challenged the Apostle Paul to defend his ministry qualifications. He complied, but cautioned he was “speaking as a fool.” None of those things that qualified him in the eyes of the Corinthians actually mattered to God.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (ESV), the Apostle Paul writes:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.
We may be nothing, but all God is looking for is submission and faithful obedience to His will.
Though, we should also note, when employers or publishers ask us such questions above, Paul also wrote, in 2: Cor 12:5b-6, “On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.6Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.” (Emphasis mine.) Speak the honest truth without embellishment–and if you’re not sure what is true about you, ask those who know and love you.