Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 18, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Five years ago I wrote my first book. One day after its publication, I decided to surf the Internet to see if I could find any helpful reviews for the “paperback baby” I had just birthed after a year of labor. Google led me to a blog with an excerpt from my new read and a string of comments from a handful of people. A few had read my new book, some hadn’t. “She has no business writing and speaking. She doesn’t even have a degree in journalism.” “I have been in Christian education my entire life and even I don’t have a book published. She shouldn’t be writing.” “I spoke with my father who is a pastor and he said that Shana is totally unqualified.” I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, but these comments hurt. They weren’t about my new book; they were about my character and qualifications. They were about me!
When I pondered their comments, my spirit deflated. Perhaps they are right. I’m not qualified. I should just quit. I should stop talking about Christ, stop writing about Him. Who do I think I am? I haven’t been to seminary; I don’t have any formal speaking training. And, what makes me think I can write books? I don’t even have an English degree! My mind immediately turned to a prayer session I had spent with a few godly, affirming women. These ladies reminded me that those who struggle are the perfect candidates for God’s grace and to be used by Him. I then looked up 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 which says:
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the LORD.’”
Suddenly, the truth of this scripture sank into my heart, and the sadness I momentarily felt about being unqualified turned to jubilation. I am not qualified and that is magnificent, awesome, and a truly wonderful thing! It’s precisely because I am not qualified that I can only boast in Christ, and Jesus is lifted up!
Maybe God has called you to a task, dream, or challenge and you feel unqualified. Let me encourage you. You are unqualified—at least in some way—and that’s a very good thing. Even if you have the degree or the credentials, no one makes a difference for Christ whether it’s in medicine, ministry, business, or botany because they feel totally qualified. God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Those who succeed and make a difference for God are those who are willing to step out in faith even though they know they are not totally qualified. Remember this as you support those around you who are stepping out in faith— remember this as you step out in faith. You are unqualified—and this is a very, very good thing. It’s the very reason that Christ can be glorified through you.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
Prayer: Lord, it’s so awesome that it’s not about my qualifications and what I am able to do. It’s about what you are able to do through me. Thank you, Lord, for using me in spite of me. You are awesome!
Application: What am I facing that I can’t do—but Christ can do through me?
Related Readings: Psalm 147:10; Philippians 4:19; 1 Chronicles 29:11
Post/Tweet this today: Being unqualified is a good thing #WisdomHunters #GodChoosestheFoolishThings
If you would like to read more from Shana, you’re invited to download her free, Devotional, 30 Days of Hope.
Worship Resource: 4 minute music video- Gaither’s: When I Cry
© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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