The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King
Have you ever thought you were too weak to help?
It’s easy to imagine someone who’s better qualified, tempting to believe that your personal failures render you useless. We all want to conceal our dirty laundry, but followers of Christ must remember that we’re called to serve where we are and to offer ourselves in that service. We’re all gifted so we can offer those gifts in service to others.
I prefer to think in terms of “serving” rather than “helping”. For me, service better conveys Jesus’ attitude. He didn’t assist from a position of superiority. Instead, He chose to step into the position of servant. He modeled service based on humility and calls us to follow Him.
If you’ve ever believed you are too damaged, too weak, or too broken to contribute, here are some questions to consider.
If God can’t use broken people, who will He use?
Let’s face it — God works through His people, and we’re all damaged goods. Acknowledging brokenness is a necessary step in following Jesus because it gets you on the path to service. We need to understand that everyone on that path is messed up.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
In the first of The Beatitudes, Jesus blesses the “poor in spirit,” those who recognize their dependence on God. Then He hands us the keys to His kingdom.
Why hide your light?
Jesus didn’t talk so much to the stars of the religious community, those who had all the answers and stood apart from those in need. He spoke instead to the poor in spirit and the meek, the broken people who had no status or authority.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
He gave you a light. Don’t hide it.
If you’re stuck in a hole, wouldn’t you want to meet someone who’s been there and knows the way out?
We’ve all experienced struggle and grief. Bad stuff happens, life isn’t fair, and we’ve all lived with consequences of unfortunate choices. Our hope lies in God’s promise that He won’t waste our pain.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28]
God creates beauty from the junk in our lives. Let’s offer it to Him, and to His people, in service and love—because He first loved us.
People often ask, “Who am I to ….?” A better question might be, “Who are you NOT to….?”
It’s uncomfortable to publicly acknowledge personal failure. In an image-conscious culture, we work hard to hide imperfections and mistakes.
We need to be clear about why we’re sharing. I shouldn’t dump on someone who’s already hurting just to make myself feel better. I must be careful about telling someone “I know how you feel,” because I probably don’t.
Nobody has made more of a mess in their life than I did. No one has squandered God’s blessings more carelessly. I am absolutely not qualified or worthy.
Relentless Grace isn’t my story, it’s God’s story. Who am I NOT to share the hope that comes from knowing that God will never give up on any of us? That’s a light that needs to be displayed for all to see.
If you’ve messed up, welcome to the human race. There’s no shame in failure and a great deal of anxiety in hiding it. Don’t be afraid to offer the gift of your experience. To someone else, it may be priceless.
What difficult experience can you offer to someone who needs it?
Sometimes the greatest heroes aren’t the strongest or the most talented. Sometimes the greatest heroes are the people who simply show up.