Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt inadequate.
Did you raise your hand? Great, keep reading, this is for you. Didn’t raise your hand? Well, keep reading too, because there’s something for you at the end.
No matter how you spend your days: working a 9-5 job, raising little humans, designing, waiting tables, teaching, or managing teams; as a disciple of Jesus you also bear the responsibility of making Him known to those around you.
I don’t know about you, but when the responsibilities of life and the weighty, joyful responsibility of carrying the Gospel swirl around in the day to day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and completely unqualified and inadequate to complete the task(s) at hand.
But friends, we don’t have to live there. In fact, we have the very best reason not to live there.
So, we see this letter that Paul writes to the Corinthian church. Paul had spent years in this city building this church and teaching the people what it meant to be a Christ follower in the midst of a pagan culture. Basically, he was like their spiritual father. We come to this point in 2 Corinthians where the people in the church are questioning Paul and his authority, his competence, his adequacy.
After all Paul had been through with these people, he is kind of perturbed that they are asking for this type of validation. For goodness sake, they’ve known Paul for years and they have experienced first-hand the impact of him preaching the Gospel into their lives! Paul could’ve easily reminded the Corinthians (again) of just how qualified and competent he actually was. But instead, he says this:
“Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (CSB)
When we feel the inadequacy creep in, when we begin to feel overwhelmed, we can confidently exchange those feelings with the sure and strong foundation of God working in and through us to make us competent and adequate. Because of Christ, we have the freedom to accept that.
For those of you who raised your hand at the beginning: stand confidently before God, knowing that through Christ your adequacy & worth come from God alone. And know that as a follower of Jesus you are equipped to bear and share the Gospel.
For those of you who didn’t raise your hand at the beginning: when you feel that you have every reason to claim your own adequacy, be quick to acknowledge that it is all because of Jesus. Be filled with thanksgiving because of that and be confident in attributing the good things you say and do to the work of Christ in you.