Am I enough? This is a question that I think everyone has asked at some point in his or her life.
Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I doing enough?
As a Christian, I find myself struggling with these thoughts even more. When I stand before God, will He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or “Get away from me, you evildoer, I never knew you”?
Emily is a fellow WordPress blogger who runs “Fearfully Wonderfully Me“. Her posts are genuine and inspirational, and I admire her so much for the manner in which she approaches the topic of Jesus and our relationships with Him. Recently she published “God’s Stitches“, and her post inspired me to write a rather lengthy comment, which in turn prompted this post today.
Emily’s post deals with the thoughts and feelings we all struggle with — that we’re not enough — but how God has a plan for each of us, and that we’re all valuable members of the Body of Christ. She said, “I can’t possibly see what God is doing in my life when I’m too busy looking at what others are doing.”
She quotes 1 Corinthians 12:12: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
She also points to the story of the widow’s mite in Luke 21: “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
Her post hit close to home because I definitely struggle with the same frustrations in my own life, especially when it comes to sharing the Gospel of Jesus.
Do I understand enough? Do I say enough? Am I helping people, or am I ignoring them? The Bible says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) That means that if God gives you wisdom, you’re expected to share it with others, so that they too might come to know Christ as Truth and Love in flesh — the immortal God putting on mortality, come, crucified and risen immortal once again. Not God’s “offspring”, but God Himself, sacrificing Himself for us. “Son” of God referring to God’s physical form, not “son” as in a child.
I don’t have a huge following on this blog, and I don’t interact with a ton of people in the “real world” either. So sometimes it’s easy to listen to that little voice in my head that says, When was the last time you wrote anything religious? Not that anyone reads them anyway. No one cares. The message isn’t going anywhere. You’re failing. What you do — and it’s SO little — is a waste. It’s not enough. YOU’RE not enough. Who have YOU helped?
It’s so easy to listen to the Devil when he says that. And make no mistake — that IS the Devil’s voice in your head. It’s so easy to think that what we’re doing is not enough, or isn’t reaching enough people; to compare ourselves to others rather than focusing on what we can do, and on what God is calling us, as individuals, to do.
So when the Devil comes prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for whom he may devour, telling me that I’m not enough, I try to keep in mind Luke 15:7: “I tell you that … there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”, and also verse 10: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
If what you’ve said, done, or written about the Lord has helped even ONE person in your whole entire life, then your (hopefully!) 80-something-years were worth living. For just one person!
Another important verse is Isaiah 55:10: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
God’s Word never falls void to the ground. Never. Whether you speak it, or I speak it, whether it’s in person or in a lowly blog post — it doesn’t matter. The Word goes out from our mouths and it does the job it’s meant to do. Which means it’s never a waste when a blog post sits with only one or two likes — or sometimes none! Whether we get 10 views or 10,000 — it just doesn’t matter. It still has value to someone, and it will do the job it was sent to do, and therefore is never a waste of time or effort.
That’s the wonderful thing about sharing the gospel that I feel a lot of Christians don’t realize. So many times God puts opportunities directly in our path, placing people in our lives at certain times, creating ways for us to say something about Him. He couldn’t make it any easier for us! But they think they need to run all over the world as missionaries to spread the Word of God. And while I certainly don’t condemn the ones who do that, I would like to remind others that there is plenty of work to do right at home, wherever you are (sometimes even within your own family), and that our job as God’s people is not to make converts.
A lot of people seem to think that it’s THEY who can change people. But we can’t change anybody. Nor is it our job to try. That’s not what God asked us to do. Only Jesus can change someone, not us. Our job is to know Jesus, understand who He is, and then share that message with others. It’s God’s Word in our mouths. We’re just the delivery method. It’s the Word itself that either convicts or condemns.
That’s why we point at Jesus, not at people’s sins. What people do is between them and the Lord. It’s not up to us to try and change them. God will do that. But getting that message out there — that’s what’s important. And that’s what we need to do, and what we DO do every time we talk to someone about Jesus. And whether our audience is small or big (and sometimes it’s a lot bigger than we may realize), if we tell the Truth in a spirit of love, then it’s never a waste. God will use it, and our work will have been of value.
Something you say to someone today, a seed you sow right now, might not take root for years and years. And maybe the person you talked to, or the person who read your blog post, wasn’t even the intended recipient. Maybe someone they meet in their lifetime will be blessed by what you said. The Word of God never falls void to the ground.
Never let the Devil make you feel insignificant. Every time we even speak the name “Jesus”, it’s something. It’s why when I first got “online”, I chose a username that would allow me to witness without even saying anything to anybody: WendyLovesJesus. It’s not always easy to stand up and be who you are. To have the courage to say, “I am a Christian and I love Jesus”.
But I remind myself constantly that Jesus DIED for us. He was mocked and beaten — beaten beyond human recognition (Isaiah 52:14) — and then gave His very life! I think the LEAST I can do is acknowledge Him to others, every single day, with NO shame, and NO regret, but with love, pride, reverence and joy. John 15:20 says, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” so when people come against you? Praise God! A servant is not greater than his master, so in all things, even persecution, give thanks and keep going. Never stop. Don’t give up.
If only one soul comes to the Lord, all of heaven rejoices. That’s not nothing. That is something.
But be on your guard. We don’t want to be like the people in Matthew 25 who said, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?”
What’s the difference between them — to whom the Lord replied, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” — and those on God’s right who said, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The difference is that the first group was concerned only with the flesh, while the second was concerned with the mind and heart. Helping someone by giving them food, water, shelter and clothing is all well and good. But providing comfort for the flesh will not save their souls. Be a person who feeds their spirit — tell them about Jesus. Help them understand who He is — God Himself in flesh. That is how we can help people. Because 80 years in this life is nothing compared to eternity. It’s not even a grain of sand on the beach, or a drop of water in the ocean.
Nothing we do for the Lord is insignificant. He sees us and knows our hearts. Even when you think no one is watching or reading, or that it doesn’t matter, or that you’re not enough, listen for the gentle whisper that says, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Never be ashamed of the one who gave His all for you.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
~ Philippians 1:20
Today’s paintings are: Titian’s “Pentecost”, 1545; John Roddam Spencer Stanhope’s “Eve Tempted”, 1877; Carl Heinrich Bloch’s, “The Sermon on the Mount”, 1877; Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra’s “The Apostle Saint Paul”, 1650; and Peter Paul Rubens’ “The Entombment”, about 1612. The header image is Hugues Merle’s “Mary Magdalene in the Cave”, 1868.