Am I a fraud? Has this question ever buzzed around your head like it has mine? Has that old spirit of condemnation tried to sink its teeth into you, too? This question has often tried to sidetrack me into doing nothing. Feeling unusable, thus drawing back into complacency. Can I still lay hands on others to impart healing power while I am burdened with the effects of sickness in my own body? Am I a fraud? Can I still encourage others concerning their marriage while I am yet gaining the skills to navigate the challenges in my own? Am I disqualified? Can I still be used to encourage parents when I am experiencing difficulties in my own relationship with my children? Can God still use me? Can I still encourage others in their journey to healthier living if I’ve missed my workout and consumed a few unhealthy things this week? Does God still use imperfect people like me? Can I encourage others to keep believing for victory over their situation even though I have yet to see my own manifest? The answer to all of these buzzing questions is YES!
It is because of our struggles that we can experience compassion for others in theirs. The Bible says that Jesus was acquainted with our challenges and temptations. God knows that though we may be in the midst of a great challenge, while we reach out to lift others up, we ourselves will be lifted up and out. We reap what we sow. As we sow seeds of encouragement, they will come back to us multiplied. God will send others to shore us up in our faith when we are feeling weary in well-doing. Pretty much everyone whose story of faith is recorded in the Bible is those who wrestled and struggled and made mistakes and definitely didn’t seem qualified. Those accounts are there so we can relate to their humanity because Jesus relates to ours. Jesus commands us to love the Lord and to love others as we love ourselves. But we cannot love others well if we don’t love ourselves well. We must be good at extending grace to ourselves if we want to become good at extending it to others.
Jesus created space for people’s humanity. He always met them where they were but never left them there. He always pulled them up higher. Out of their sickness, out of their oppression, and most importantly out of their wrong thinking. Jesus accepts us fully, right where we are. Part of the faith life is that we keep going. We give ourselves permission to rest, to make mistakes, to breathe, to be comforted, and then to keep going. We are all a work in progress. I see myself as an encourager of faith. So, in encouraging others, I find encouragement. Am I a fraud? No, I am human. I am at times frail and tired and weak. But I am loved and approved of by Jesus. And His is the most important opinion. When we pour that truth into our hearts until we are full, then it can spill out onto all those around us. ~Be Blessed, Jenny