It’s become a fairly regular habit of mine to share scripture or inspirational quotes on social media as I come across through them and they stand out to me. Yesterday morning was no exception to this as I read 2 Corinthians 6:4 and quickly made an image for the verse to share. Here’s the image:
After I shared the image, instantly thoughts of doubt, fear, and second-guessing entered my mind: “Do you really show God in all you do? . . . You’ve just told everyone you’re a minister and that’s big target to put on yourself. You know everyone’s going to be watching you! . . . Yeah, right, like you patiently endure hardships . . . You have just set yourself up for failure” On and on and on the accusations and doubts went. Fortunately, I was running a little behind for work and I was able to push them out of my mind for the time being and focus instead on the task at hand rather than indulge in the thoughts being offered to me.
Throughout the day, I pondered the thoughts from the morning and the verse I had shared. Now, it could be due to the fact that I was busy at work or it could be due to the amount of grace-based teachings, podcasts, and blogs I have been immersing myself in finally breaking through, but in what is a huge reversal from the role I have played for the largest part of my life, instead of developing a one person pity party for myself caged in by fear of failure I began to feel confidence in the fact that, “Yes! I am a minister of God in everything I do!” I think it’s because I’m finally realising what it means to be a minister of God.
Backing up to verse 3 and through verse 10 in the same chapter in 2 Corinthians, Paul goes on to describe the conduct that they have maintained and held themselves to. However, I believe the true key to being a minister of God lies in verse 11:
We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you.
The key to truly ministering to others and showing God lies in honesty and opening our hearts. For too long we Christians have portrayed ourselves as perfect, moral beings that refuse to do certain things and show detest for all those who do, all the while we live petrified in fear that someone may find out our secret . . . we are not perfect, moral beings! The disheartening thing about it is the things we show detest and judge others for aren’t even condemned by scripture . . . and even if they are we have forgotten that there is no condemnation in Jesus!! (see Charlie Brown, Eeyore, and Jesus) It’s time we be honest about who we are, but, more important, be honest about who God is. Be honest about your failures. Be honest about your fears. Be honest about your worries and doubts. But let that honesty point to God.
Recently, our family walked through a situation very few are aware of. It was not a life-threatening situation, but it could have definitely been life-altering. It was not easy and it endured far longer than seemed wise in our own eyes and definitely far longer than we wanted it to! During that time, we rode our roller coaster of waiting and went through the emotions of anger, fear, worry, dread, doubt, and belief. If you had read our thoughts and minds in this period, you would have likely considered us unstable and no doubt at time faithless, but we had no choice but to just walk through it. One step at a time, day by day, enduring . . . at times patiently, at times anxiously. But we came through and, no doubt, we were observed by others during the time to see how Christians handle such things. Did we pass the test? To me, that doesn’t matter and I think that’s where we get it wrong. I don’t view life as a test and I don’t believe it’s about that at all. I believe it’s about walking through those times saying, “I don’t know what may happen, and yes, I am concerned, yes, I am worried, but deep down inside there’s a peace I can’t explain. I know God will get us through.” I like what author Steve Brown of Key Life Network said in his book Three Free Sins: “God has granted me the serene view of failure, pain, and an awareness of how I’m about as messed up as anybody I know.”
So Christians aren’t perfect and we are not shielded from pain, but we are ministers of God when we walk through those times confident that God is going to get us through and the confidence shines through. Not that we shine the confidence, it shines on it own. Christ told us to let it shine, not to shine it. If it’s there, it will show.
So, go ahead and watch me. Watch me be a man seeking not to do anything but show God . . . in my insecurities, in my fears, in my doubts . . . watch me . . . and prayerfully you’ll see Him. For without Him, I am nothing!