I was reading some blogs and came across Jon Acuff's post on worrying about being, or more exactly, not being the perfect "whatever". That reminded me of a story.
Back in school, when I was about 10 or 11, my English class was supposed to put on a performance. I don't recall the details, but one of the things that we were supposed to do was dance. No one in the class wanted to do it - we were very embarrassed, being small kids. My teacher was getting visibly upset as time went by. I don't know who told her or what was hanging on this performance night, but it was obvious that the lack of interest and participation was worrying her.
Now, I hope you don't take the next part as me boasting about myself. You will see my point later on. I felt sorry for her - she was a nice lady and a good teacher. I told her that I will be in the show, and do the dancing. To this day I remember her looking at me with gratitude and saying "you know, you are a very good person." It wasn't the kind of patronizing thing that an adult would say to a child sometime, but as one human being would say to another.
Years and years have passed, until I understood why I remembered this praise. More than two decades ago, I still remember one of my teachers telling me that I was a good person. It was not because I danced well (the show turned out to be a disaster by the way), but because I made myself available.
The point that I am trying to make, is that I often find myself say "I'm not good enough to do that", or "I'm not smart enough," or "I don't know the Bible well-enough to defend my faith", or "I am not a good Christian". I once said that to my sister Kim, how I am worrying about my ministry among my co-workers, who are not Christian (far far on the opposite end in fact). How can I possibly be God's tool when I am a bad Christian? She asked me:"How would they know what a good Christian is if they are not a Christian themselves?"
I find measuring myself up against this "golden calf" of an Ideal Christian. Isn't that ridiculous? I have created this person, infallible Christian of unspeakable strength and faith that I will never ever be able to measure up to. But does that at all sounds like a person who even needs God?
So every time the hissing voice in my head starts to tell me how I am "not pure enough" or " not good enough" or "not knowledgeable enough", I remember that the only thing I ever need to do - is to make myself available to God. He will do the rest.
"...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" …Phil 2:12
Why is the second part of this amazing line left out so often?! For it is GOD who is at work in you. What an amazing freedom and relief that is.