I just sat down at our new patio table. In truth, it is a new patio. We built the house thirty years ago, and we finally put in a patio. Sure, we had talked about it every summer since we built the house, but never acted on it. But my oldest son motivated us. My wife was going to have a significant birthday (out of courtesy, I won't tell you which one), but my son thought he would build a patio for her as a birthday present!
I figured it was a very good idea. But, after we looked at the cost, I agreed to fund it, if my oldest son (and possibly his brothers) would provide the labor. Well, it took much longer than we expected (primarily due to the finances) but we "got'er" done!
Anyway, this morning I sat down on our new patio to think about what I wanted to share with you. As I sat there, I heard myself saying, “I am just a guy who . . .” Have you had those thoughts before? You know, “I am just a regular guy who happens to be a _________ (you fill in the blank).” I used to say, "I'm just a Pastor," or "I'm just a tech guy." "I am just this or that."
All of us should know who we are, but whenever we preface it with “just,” we tend to limit who we are. Yes, we need to demonstrate modesty, and yes, we need to show humility, but often, we are, in reality, comparing ourselves to someone else; comparing ourselves to someone else's position or accomplishments. Or worse yet, our abilities to another person's abilities! We stand back and believe that we are just not good enough. Or not as good as so-and-so.
Do you find yourself saying, “I am just a factory worker.” "I am just a janitor." "I am just a house wife." "I am just a gardener." "I am just _________" (you fill in the blank).
Can I tell you something? When I worked in a warehouse or drove a truck, or worked as a cashier it was good to me! I was able to meet all kinds of wonderful people, some who I still call friends. I have great memories of every job I held at one time or another and the people I worked with.
When I was a Pastor, I admit that there were periods where I losing confidence in my ability as a Pastor/teacher. I'll tell you what, when you are a leader of any group or organization, and lose your confidence, it causes many problems. It certainly won't benefit those you are supposed to be guiding! When a leader is walking around thinking, “I am just . . .” it is not humility, they have only been listening to other voices speak doubt and confusion. They forgot Who called them!
Whenever you compare yourself to someone else, it will zap any confidence you should have. You will no longer be of any use to your Master in the place he has put you! You have forgotten the adage to "bloom where you are planted."
It has been a long time since I have ministered full-time (whatever that means), but a while back, I was asked to share a message with a particular home group. My first thought was that it was a kind of them to ask me, but I thought to myself, "I am just ________" (I won't bother filling in the blank).
Sure, I send out this messages, but I don't think they compare to any Tozer-type inspirational books. But wait! No one has called me to be the best of someone else's ability; my priority is to teach to the best of my ability — and to continue to grow in the gifts that the Lord gives me! The friend who invited me is already a great teacher, but, for whatever reason, he seems to recognize something in me that he would like shared with his church. Go figure.
No, it won’t be better than he could do but it will be different, and that is what he wants. It is OK if our styles are different. If we stop leading because we have lost confidence or have heard too many voices telling us we don't belong there, no one will be teaching in the place God has put us! A power that God has not commissioned will fill the void. The emptiness will only be filled with noise.
I am not “just” anything — I am a child of God! The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me! The same Spirit who has called and anointed Moses, Peter, Paul and all the rest of the heroes of our faith, has called me! Sure, I have at times questioned His Wisdom of calling me, but the reality is that He does the calling. It is His Church. I often hear Him tell me, "Teach, son. Teach." "Share Who you know, not simply what you know.”
Hmm. I will think about that for a moment. Hmm, maybe I will even put it into practice. What do you think?
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)
I do thank you for your gifts
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.