“What Should I Say To Them?”
My wife was counseling a person who served on worship who was having lots of doubts about their abilities. They were stuck in a loop of comparing their skills and talents with others and despite God using them powerfully and consistently, they felt a lot of discouragement and began to conclude that they just weren’t that great.
“What should I say to them?”, she asked me again, looking to me as someone who’s led worship for many years. “How can I encourage them when they says they’re not great?”
Very seriously I turned to her and said, “Tell them it’s true. They’re not great.”
My wife was initially shocked and a little offended that I would say something so unhelpful. But I continued…
“It’s true–they are not great. But God still chooses to use us.“
That is the enduring and freeing truth of those who serve him. There will always be another person who is more talented, more gifted, more qualified than ourselves. There’s no point in beating around the bush. Additionally, and more importantly, before God, who really is great? Before all his abilities and greatness, who really can say they’re great?
When we feel discouraged about our abilities, is it therefore right to pad and console ourselves in a reality that’s not true? Actually the real truth is more freeing–we’re not great, and it’s amazing that God still chooses to use us.
It’s not about our abilities, our giftedness, our talents, or our experience. God never needed us anyway. God can choose to use us today and decide never to use us again and we would have absolutely nothing to complain about.
It’s not about us. It never was about us. Serving him was about making him great, and we have the privilege of being called by him in this magnificent journey of bringing heaven to earth in whatever context that means for us.
We need to be delivered from exceptionalistic American hero mindset that somehow we are the chosen one that’s somehow so amazing because the truth is, we’re not. God is amazing.
It doesn’t mean we don’t pursue growth or excellence; it means that our serving should be safely subsumed within the all-consuming greatness of God’s glory and not our own. And that true frees us.
So tell it to your discouraged self; tell it to your discouraged brother or sister–we are not great, and it’s amazing that God still chooses to use us.