Take an inventory of your classmates. Row by row, name all the other students in your classroom and associate your impression of them.
- Peter is nice, but when he’s hanging around a certain crowd, he totally ignores you
- Thomas is negative
- Abraham was held back a grade
- Joseph was in juvie
- Jonah is a quitter
- Jeremiah is depressed
- Timothy is naive and fearful
- Leah is unattractive
- Rahab sleeps around
- David is a player
- Moses gets nervous too easily and stutters
- Luke is a brainiac
- Paul is always sick
- Naomi is poor
- Ruth is from the other side of the tracks
- Samantha has a bad reputation
- Mary is a teen mom
- Zacchaeus cheats
Now, take a look at this list again. Do the names sound familiar? Yes, they are all biblical characters and the personality flaws that they are known for. Regardless of their bad reputation or weak disposition, God used each of these individuals in amazing ways:
- Peter had a sincere relationship with Jesus, but denied him three times only to become the rock in which Jesus built His church.
- Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection but became a pillar in growing the early church.
- Abraham took a while to trust God’s plan for his life, but eventually he did become the “Father” of God’s chosen people.
- Joseph was a prisoner, but he saved his nation (and his family) from a horrible famine.
- Jonah ran away from responsibility, but he turned around and helped many people discover faith in one true God.
- Jeremiah was depressed, but was an incredible prophet – speaking the truth of the Lord.
- Timothy was young and fearful, but he led many to Christ.
- Leah wasn’t chosen because of her beauty, but she became the mother of the men who would eventually be known as the “Twelve Tribes of Israel.”
- Rahab was a prostitute, but she risked her life to save God’s people.
- David was an adulterer, but became a great king and a man after God’s own heart.
- Moses stuttered, but freed God’s people from slavery.
- Luke is an intelligible Doctor who wrote two incredible books of the Bible (Luke and Acts).
- Paul fell ill a lot, but God used him to heal many people.
- Naomi lost everything she had, but dedicated her life to ensuring the survival of her beloved daughter-in-law Ruth.
- Ruth wasn’t one of the “chosen people” but bore the ancestor of David, thus Jesus.
- The Samaritan woman had a bad reputation, but her faith was strong.
- Mary became pregnant before she was married (by the Holy Spirit) and gave birth to our Savior.
- Zacchaeus was a tax collector, but Jesus chose him to host a dinner at his house.
You classify yourself the same way you classify every single person in your classroom. You point out your failures, shortcomings or wrongdoings. Now, evaluate the above list again. Do you see how God used all these individuals regardless of their shortcomings? Do you not believe that God could use you as well? If you, for a second, think that God would use someone other than you, then you’re placing limitations on God. Don’t! Instead, trust that He is going to use you. In fact, He is probably already using you to influence the people around you. So, accept that you have a significant role to play.
Once you understand this reality, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to hide until your time comes? Or, are you going to prepare? If God is going to use you, then don’t you want to be ready for Him? Start memorizing scripture, keep reading your Bible, make church and youth group more of a priority – not because you have to, but because it draws you closer to God which means you’ll have a clearer understanding of what He is calling you toward. You see, God uses everyday people to do His work to further His kingdom. When you read scripture, you’ll learn about Jesus so your faith and relationship with Him with grow. It’s during those times of intimacy with Him that you’ll gain Godly wisdom and knowledge. You’ll hear Him speaking to you or prompting you to realize what actions He is leading you to at the present time. You don’t have to qualify, be a certain age, status or IQ to be used by God. Just open your heart, your mind and your Bible. Continue your journey by helping each one of your classmates realize their worth and ability. If God can use you, then He will use everyone – regardless of their shortcoming. As you grow in your wisdom and faith, guide others to do the same!