Have you ever sat in church (in the designated spot somewhere near the front where all good pastor’s wives sit) and felt like a big hypocrite, inadequate to fulfill the role God has set before you? Well, take heart, friend, you are not alone!
     It was early in our ministry and I was in my “spot” at church, second row back, middle section, on the right (you know the one!), as my husband used an illustration for his message that included me.  My first thought was, “Well…that’s not quite how it happened…” (men remember things much differently than we do!).  Then I noticed everyone was looking at me to see my reaction.  I gave the obligatory laugh and roll of the eyes but inside felt like crawling under the pew!  I immediately felt very inadequate for people to look at me in any way, even if it was just for a reaction!  I didn’t have it all together and the weight of my shortcomings sat on my heart like a ton of bricks.
     The truth is people do look to us and our families as an example for godly living.  Wow, do I know! My husband is a pastor, my dad was a pastor, and my grandfather was a pastor!  I spent all of my life looking the part, acting the part, but feeling very different on the inside.  I often thought to myself, “This is really unfair that I have had to be on ‘display’ my whole life, that people have all these expectations and they will certainly let you know when you don’t measure up!”  I kept up my internal pity party and outward facade until God hit me over the head with the spiritual frying pan of his holy Word…”God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Ouch!  God opened my eyes to the truth that my feelings of inadequacy and resentment stemmed from pride in my heart and lack of faith in the very Creator and Sustainer of the universe.  So, my friend if you are feeling unqualified for the ministry God has called you to and maybe a little resentful of the expectations places upon you, take heart, and remember these simple truths:
1.  Don’t Trust Your Feelings.
      Our feelings lie to us every day. Have you ever gone to bed extremely angry about a certain situation but woke up the next day feeling totally different?  Our feelings change with the wind and must be grounded in the truth of God’s Word.  When you feel inadequate hold on to the truth of II Peter 1:3 “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and excellence.”  God has given you everything you need to accomplish His will so you can go forward in great confidence knowing that, “it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
2.  It’s Not About You – It’s About Christ In You.
     We must make a conscious effort to take our focus off of ourselves and our short-comings and place it on the perfect holy One who is conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).  We tend to run from one thing to the next in ministry feeling like it all depends on us to hold it together and make it happen. Stop the craziness!  Cling to the truth of Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” What a comforting, freeing truth to know that it doesn’t all depend on us!
3.  Be Transparent.
     Don’t try to hide your faults but be open with your struggles and how God is working in your heart.  When we are an open book others feel more comfortable to share their struggles and we truly become the body of Christ – bearing one another’s burdens and encouraging one another to love and good works (Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 10:24).  When we try to put on the “little miss perfect” face we push others away making them feel as dysfunctional as we are.  Luke 12:2 says, “But is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.”  Eventually our true colors shine through for all to see, so why not be open and honest and encourage someone else along the way!?
4.  Glory In Your Weaknesses.
     In II Corinthians 12 we see that one of the most faithful followers of Christ, the Apostle Paul, struggled with a “thorn in the flesh”.  Not only was he open with his struggle – he embraced it!  Paul was human just like we are and asked God three times to remove the affliction and here was God’s answer and Paul’s response:  “And he has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’  Most gladly , therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (II Corinthians 12:9).  God’s divine power is seen most clearly through our human weakness.  I encourage you, embrace your weaknesses so others can see the power of God working in and thought you.
     Friend, as we strive to serve the Lord maybe feeling inadequate is right where God wants us. It is only then that we truly realize that we can’t trust our feelings, it’s all about Christ in us, we must be transparent to be effective and God’s strength is seen most clearly in our weaknesses.  I leave you with one of the most freeing, stress-relieving, empowering verses in the Bible, “THE ONE WHO CALLS YOU IS FAITHFUL AND HE WILL DO IT!” (I Thessalonians 5:24)

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