“But I’m not…” are usually the first words that pop into someone’s mind whenever the thought of doing something they have never done or when being challenged to give up something precious to them comes up.
Generally people have three objections when the idea of getting involved arises:
- I don’t feel worthy or capable.
- I am afraid what other might think.
- I just don’t have time.
Let’s deal with the last one first; I don’t have time. Strange isn’t it in this society where we have all these time-saving gadgets and technologies that make communicating faster and more efficient than ever before, we seem to have less time than ever? And it’s true. In our effort to shift labor, routines and rituals onto technology, devices and apps, we have freed up a lot of time that used to be spent in work. The problem is that nature loves a vacuum and that space we created had to get filled up with something. Social networking, media consumption, entertainment, virtual living. There are a million more things demanding your attention then there were in days of your grandfather and grandmother. But time is an idol maker and we decide which idols we are going to worship by how we spend our time (and money). Don’t be shocked or offended. We’re not saying you have a golden calf statue or an altar to Athena in your home. Idols can be anything we place in more importance than God. Take a moment and consider where you spend most of your time and how much of that time is spent in simply being distracted by the newest YouTube video, the trending tweet, the last check-in of your friends on Facebook. When we get honest with ourselves, we often find that it is not that we don’t have time, it’s that our desires for pleasing ourselves often ranks much higher than pleasing God.
The other two reasons, well they are easy. Are you afraid of what others might think? What is more important to you, what God thinks or what your neighbor thinks? The Bible warns us about putting our faith in what others think when it says, “For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” and “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” And finally, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” If you are someone who has given their life to Christ, surely it is the heart of God that you should desire to please and not the hearts of others. Strangely enough, when we work to please God, it is often in the service and the delight of those in his Kingdom who are often neglected.
The last bit about not felling worthy; well frankly, you’re not. Let’s just give up that idea right up front. Isn’t being unworthy the whole basis of the Gospel message? Isn’t our unworthiness why God sent His Son to die on a cross for us? Isn’t our unworthiness and God’s desire to fix that why Christ submitted to the cross? Of our own flesh we are nothing, but in God…well let’s let God speak for himself, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” and “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” So yeah, you may not be a theologian and feel you cannot witness; trust us, sharing your own story generally impacts a heart much more than the amount of Scripture you have memorized. You have never worked a soup kitchen, or helped an elderly person get their house cleaned up, or worked with a bunch of crazy 1st graders? So what, it’s not about you, it’s about God. Not only will He give you the strength, the words and the ability, but with us here at OVBC, we will always be walking right beside you. We know the path. Walk it a couple of times and the “But I’m not..” will become just a another childish thing you put on a shelf, never to need again.