May I be shamefully transparent with you? James says that “we all struggle in many ways” (James 3:2) - it’s one of the great understatements of the Bible.
I wish I could remember the conversation exactly. Dad said something about making some mistake and he said “I think some of our struggles serve to remind us that we are not perfect. So, I’m glad I still blunder.”
Some of you will identify with this, others will not. I’m writing this for those who are self-aware enough to. I’ve struggled with weight all my life. I got so skinny as a kid that I was anemic for a while. And then as a young teen, I also got so large that I once had to buy “husky” jeans. As an adult, I have been up and down so often that one dear friend jokingly introduced me as Brother Duncan (you know, like the yoyo, up then down, up then down).
What most of you, especially those who have never struggled with weight, don’t know is how painful it is when I am, well, big. It adversely affects every part of my life. And, I know I can do something about it, so please, I beg you, don’t send my your latest diet plan. That fact makes it even more painful.
But where it hurts me most is in my preaching and ministry. See, there are visits I don’t want to make, events I don’t want to attend, times I have no confidence standing in front of an audience because I know some are judging me (of course, saying that means, I’m judging them that they are judging me). There are times when I am not bold enough because I don’t feel worthy to make a bold statement since I obviously don’t have it all together. There are times I feel so irresponsible with my health that I feel like I’m the worst of sinners.
But the problem with all of that is that I am more embarrassed, because focusing on that, on me, makes it about me (1 Corinthians 2:2). And, this thing we do, it’s not about me/us. When I miss events, hospital visits, chances to pray with others, to influence people and situations because of me, I’m making it about me.
Remember: His grace is greater, His grace is forgiven. We are more than promoters of His grace, we are parties to that goodness.
I do not know what your thing is that makes you feel less - Education, background, money, a past sin, etc,, I suspect if we are all honest we all have that “thing.” Perhaps it might even be the besetting sin of Hebrews 12. I think the Spirit is right, we’d all be healthier if we’d confess our shortcomings/sins/faults to each other (James 516). I don’t know what is besetting you from making the most of your ministry (2 Timothy 4:5) but pray with me, for me, and I will for you and let’s go forward in the strength of the Lord and do more with His confidence. Because, it’s about Him, not our mess. Yes work on being “better” but remember we are int he shadow of the cross.