Months ago, I was invited to participate in restructuring an existing ministry at our church. Recently, as I sat in back-to-back meetings with pastors to discuss two different areas of involvement, I found myself wondering, “Do I really qualify to do this?” I wasn’t thinking “Am I capable of doing this?” I was thinking “Am I being a hypocrite?”
As often is the case, I find myself in meetings like this, thinking of all the ways I fail at living a focused, God-centered, God-glorifying life.
In this recent meeting, I began wondering if perhaps my inward inspection was really prompted by Satan to discourage me from serving the Lord. Should I be disqualified from serving because of my sinful failures or do I serve with humility despite my sinful failures? Does God want to use me for His purposes even though I don’t have my act all together?
Well, isn’t that why Jesus came?
The 12 men that Jesus called to be His disciples were not men with their acts all together. In fact, it makes me chuckle when I think of some of their well-intentioned but short-sighted efforts and questions. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:21-23; And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Matthew 17:4; At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Matthew 18:1; Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Matthew 18:21: Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same… Then all the disciples left him and fled… Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” 26:35, 56, 74; And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:40-41. These are all just from the book of Matthew!
If we wait until we feel appropriately holy to serve in our church or community, we would likely sit at home or busy ourselves with other things that have no eternal value.
That being said, if we are walking in sin, God calls us to confession and repentance. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. … If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Luke 5:32; 1 John 1:9
God also calls us to confess our sins one to another.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working James 5:16. Prayerfully choose a few people that you believe it appropriate to share your sin struggles. This requires humility and a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent. This is a powerful tool to break down the façade that we have our act all together.
We also need to take a hard look at our sin. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I content in my sin or do I continue to fight for righteousness?” If I’m content in my sin – perhaps our time and energy needs to be focused there rather than serving in ministry. However, if I continue to fight for righteousness, though I fail – I believe we can serve God’s people in humility, faith, trust, and joy.
Sister, don’t allow Satan to discourage you by convincing you that you are just a hypocrite and disqualified to serve God.
Face your sin. Confess to God. Repent. Confess to a few prayerfully chosen sisters to seek their prayers and accountability, then step out to serve in much humility and faith.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.