I almost didn’t publish my last two posts.
After all, I’m a Christian. I work at a Christian company and am heavily involved at my church, including being a youth leader. There’s a Bible passage stating, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned…”
As I sat in our first youth gathering of the school year, I wondered a bit if I should have published them. If maybe spewing my insecurities and doubts and issues with God onto the Internet was not a wise move for a youth leader, or even just as a Christian.
It crossed my mind that maybe they were words I should have kept to myself, because maybe putting them out there made me a bad example, a bad youth leader, a bad Christian. Maybe they disqualified me, and maybe I should have waved goodbye to those high school and middle schoolers and walked out the door.
Then I wondered if it would’ve been, in some way, worse for me to not have published them. Nothing I wrote, of not really knowing what the deal is with God and having mostly stopped reading my Bible right now, was untrue.
Which is exactly why I decided to publish them anyway.
I chose to put the messy, ugliness of what I’ve been thinking and feeling into a public space, but doing so wasn’t what caused me to think and feel that way. It was simply putting words to what already was.
But would it really have been the publishing of those words that disqualified me? Or the thinking and feeling and them?
As I sat there, it hit me: I am not disqualified.
Those messy thoughts and feelings and questions I have about God and following him do not disqualify me from serving him. They don’t disqualify me from hanging out with high school and middle schoolers, they don’t disqualify me from greeting people at church, they don’t disqualify me from being a Christian.
And here’s the thing:
YOU are not disqualified either.
I don’t know what your messy thoughts and feelings about God and Jesus and prayer and the Bible are, I don’t know what you’re arguing with God over right now, I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve read your Bible. But I do know those struggles do not disqualify you from serving him and being used by him.
If they did, there would be no pastors, no seminary professors, no Christian conference speakers. No one who follows Jesus has it all figured out, all the time.
God is in the business of using imperfect people. They’re the only kind he ever has.
Til next time…
p.s. Have you ever felt disqualified from being used by God? How were you reminded that you’re not?