Can God Still Use Me?
Thanks to the constant barrage of media, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that you will never be enough. There’s always pressure to do more and be more. And, even if you have somehow managed to escape the feeling that you must measure up to the way that others look or act, you are still likely to sink into the trap of thinking you are not enough. You’re probably aware you shouldn’t compare yourself to the highlight reel of other people’s social media accounts (not that knowing you shouldn’t make it any easier to avoid), but you still might have the idea in your head that there is a better version of yourself that you can never quite seem to reach.
For me, I like to make other people feel good. I smile and laugh and listen a lot because people need someone in their lives who does that. I want to be the kind of person that other people trust deeply. The kind who shows up when she’s needed and does what needs to be done.
There’s a wonderful set of verses that gets cited often in reference to friendships or relationships:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Every time I hear them, I am reminded I want to be the kind of person who helps others up -- for those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are not yet.
Sometimes, I am that person, and I try so hard to be her. But, I am not that person to everyone all of the time. There are days when I make mistakes, and there are situations when I am not able to offer the kind of help that is needed. I am only one person, I am imperfect, and, no matter what I do, I will never be enough for every single situation and to every person.
This thought could lead me to a spiral of fruitless shame and an unproductive frenzy of striving towards a target I will never be able to hit. Or, when seen from a different angle, understanding I will never be enough can be freeing.
I don’t have to be enough. I am allowed to have flaws.
In his letter to Corinth, Paul wrote, “This is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV). Paul’s past was far from perfect, and, while he doesn’t reveal what his exact weaknesses are after he begins to follow God’s path, he does confirm that he is able to do his work only because of the strengths that God provides him.
We don’t have to pretend to be perfect. God already knows we aren’t, and He uses us anyway.
God is the one who is ultimately in control. God can use me to help others, but He doesn’t need me to be MORE in order to do so. He can use me the way that I am right now. All I need to do is be willing to allow God to work through me. Now, this doesn’t mean I stop trying to become the best person I can be or I stop trying to grow in the image of God. What it does mean, is I put on grace. I will never reach perfection, but I serve a perfect God.
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. -2 Corinthians 8:12
No matter where you think you fall short, know God will continue to use you, regardless, so that you can spend less time worrying about your personal shortcomings or the ways in which you “aren’t good enough” and more time carrying out the work God has for you.
God works through the least in order to make the most of His kingdom. In our weakness, God makes us strong. To God, you are exactly enough.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth is an educator at heart. So far this has taken the form of a camp counselor, a museum assistant, and currently a middle school teacher. She loves to watch people grow and learn. You can read more of her writing at her blog Chronicles of a Southern Belle.