Yesterday I shared at our weekly staff prayer meeting. Here is basically what I shared…
Last Friday in class my prof asked us to grab a couple of metal pieces that had words or symbols on them to think about what they mean to me. I grabbed an arrow pointed upwards and a piece that had “inspire” written on it. This is what I wrote in response to those (can I quote myself?):
“I feel a lot of pressure to inspire people. I guess that is part of my job, though it feels weird to say that. I know that God has called me to lead people toward himself and whether it is leading worship on Sundays, or leading practice on Tuesdays, or riding the MAX on Fridays…it is my duty as a Christ follower to lead people towards Himself. But for whatever reason I have a gag reflex when I think about it being my job to inspire people towards a closer relationship or any relationship with God.
I wonder why this is. I think sometimes when it gets viewed as a job-that it is forced on me-I don’t want to do it; I rebel. It would be really easy to try harder and harder to inspire people. I think thoughts like “I just need to sing a little louder or read this perfect Bible verse or strum my guitar harder.” But will doing those things really inspire people? Inspiring people to a closer relationship with God really isn’t even about me. It is really about allowing God to use me. This is a constant battle for me. The battle between trying hard on my own accord or submitting to the great power of what God can do through a surrendered soul is ongoing.”
After I wrote that out I looked at a few Bible verses that spoke to me about all this. 2nd Corinthians 12 talks about God’s power being made perfect in our weakness. A very confusing thing to me but if Paul says it I’ll believe it. I spend a lot of my time worrying about my weaknesses yet God says that is when we are truly being used by Him.
This was the clincher for me…2nd Corinthians 5 talks about how we are ambassadors for Christ, and he is making his appeal through us. All my struggles with trying to figure out whether I should real think of inspiring people as my job have been confirmed. But they’ve been confirmed in a great way. I think St. Francis Assisi says it best way back in the 1200s. He says:
- Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
- where there is hatred, let me sow love;
- where there is injury, pardon;
- where there is doubt, faith;
- where there is despair, hope;
- where there is darkness, light;
- and where there is sadness, joy.
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love;
- for it is in giving that we receive,
- it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
I am called to inspire people towards Christ because I am His ambassador. But my prayer is that he might simply use me. When inspiring people becomes about me it becomes a selfish desire.