Since I can remember, I always had a fear of public speaking. Any opportunity that I had to speak in front of people, I ran from it. I would avoid public speaking. But God is so kind. He took the thing that I feared and made it into a platform for His glory to be manifested to others. I developed a love for the word of God and sharing it with others. As a result of this, I was approached by someone about teaching a Sunday school class. Even though I was not the most prolific teacher, I had a love for the Lord and His word.
I really enjoyed relaying information to other people, but I struggled with knowing whether or not this was something that I wanted to do, or God called me to do. I remember one Sunday before the congregation and giving my review of the Bible lesson that we were studying. I remember looking at the audience and deciding that I had to “pump up my talk” so that people would cheer me on. I knew in my heart that I was trying to impress people versus really sharing what thus sayeth the Lord.
I had convinced myself that God had given me a second chance to prove to people that I was significant. Wait, God gave me this gift and that in itself gave me a sense of significance. Yet, I had somehow exchanged what God had given me for people’s approval of me.
I am no longer teaching a Sunday School class. However, that experience taught me some lessons that transfer into various areas of my life:
Manage the gift that God gives you carefully. This is the time of year where it is so common to exchange gifts. I have received some gifts from people that I am truly appreciative of. I know that in order for the gifts to maintain their value, I must manage them carefully. However, the same is true of the spiritual gift that God gives to us. If we are not careful, we can think that we just got it or think that we have gifted ourselves. However, we must stay humble in order for our gifts to continue to be developed. We must spend time in prayer and studying God’s word.
The gift that God gives you does not require the approval of people. People are just people. One day they will have wonderful things to say about you and tomorrow they will not know what to think about you. People will not always understand the gifts that God has given us. We do not need to have people’s approval in order to use the gift that God has given us. But we do need to continue to have faith in God and know that He has already approved us.
Even in our times of inadequacy, God is still faithful. God is faithful whether we feel confident or lack confidence. Throughout the Bible, we read of people who felt inadequate, but God was still able to do wonderful things through them. There are many reasons that we might feel inadequate. It could be due to having a lack of experience, past sin, current sins, lack of resources, limited thinking, etc. Regardless of the reason is that we feel inadequate, God is still faithful! Aren’t you glad that God’s faithfulness does not depend on anything that you have done? I am.
The way that we start out our journey is not the same way that we will end our journey. God has wonderful things in store for us but it is important that we keep our eyes focused on God. The gifts that God gives us require careful management. God does not need the approval of anyone in order for us to use the gift(s) that He has given us. Even when we feel like we are inadequate, God is still faithful to fulfill the promises that He has spoken to us.