less than perfect
1985. Ronald Reagan began his second term; Back to the Future was a hot, brand new movie, shown in THX surround sound. Madonna, Phil Collins, Foreigner and REO Speedwagon were on the radio. And I was a freshman at Baylor. During my second semester, the LORD stirred in my heart and I was compelled to share my faith. I reached out to guys on my hall. Guys I had blown off or more likely smarted off to during my first semester were invited to Bible study in my room. My friends were gracious and began coming. After a couple weeks of coming, they wanted to see how real my faith was. They trapped me in my room by stuffing pennies between the door and the doorjamb. A few minutes into being stuck and taunted from the other side of the door, I cursed at one of the guys. Instantly, they all feigned shock at my response. I was mad, frustrated and felt like a fraud. I heard accusations in my head like who do you think you are to lead a group of peers in a Bible study?
I bet you’ve felt this way, too. Excited about a change in your life and resolved to share it with those you used to run with. And you think, ‘my friends know who I am, they won’t be willing to listen to me.’ Yet, His Word encourages us as we transition from an old way of life to a new life. Before you write yourself off, because you feel unqualified or ill equipped to share your love for CHRIST and HIS for you, consider this.
In the first chapter of Matthew, JESUS’ lineage is laid out for us. This is not the typical lineage of royalty. Judah fathered Perez with Tamar, his daughter-in-law. Rahab, a prostitute, was married to Salmon. And David’s son Solomon came from an affair with Bathsheba, that caused the death of her first husband. More than just stories in The Bible, these are JESUS’ ancestors. GOD was capable of using only faithful people for His royal lineage, but that’s not who He chose. Ever wonder why?
“Throughout history, GOD has used imperfect people to work His will…this shows He can redeem the lives of fallen people to do great things for Him…His grace is stronger than the presumed limitations of our past. He can use us regardless of our background.” – study note from Matthew 1:1-16, Every Man’s Bible
Even more, GOD has created us specifically to reach those around us. Not because we’re perfect, but because of who He made us to be. Psalm 139 tells us His workmanship is marvelous, which includes you and me. Genesis 1 says we’re all made in His very image. We’re not all made exactly alike or perfect in the eyes of the world. Better; in His image, for His purposes. Look how He has orchestrated circumstances in our lives, and know, He’s made each of us for those around us, the very ones He’s nudging us to love.
“Your unique presence in your community is the way GOD wants you to be present to others.” – Henri Nouwen
So, be encouraged to forget your reservations and respond to the nudge. If you sense opposition or feel unqualified, remember He’s been using imperfect people to share His perfect, redeeming love forever. GOD is for you (Romans 8:31) and His grace is stronger than all of our limitations. Let’s fearlessly love the one He places before us today!