“I can’t be that.”
Enervating words, from self to self.
“I’ve got you covered.”
Energizing words, from Father to son.
Every Sunday, there will be people in the pews whose minds replay those 4 words of discouragement, over and over, like an mp3 player stuck on repeat. Every great and inspiring example from the Bible and from real life is another whip with which to self-torment. Every stellar saint is a ghost, haunting the conscience; a glorious cause for fresh doubts. Good, godly, sensitive souls who have an over-developed sense of self-loathing.
These inward-looking saints – I count myself among them – cannot seem to hear good news without rummaging through the trash cans to find yesterday’s expired and moldy cold cuts.
Yes, some, in foolish pride, think when they hear the Word of God, “I can do that!” God will, in His wise and gentle power, reprove that presumption. But others are in a guilt cycle, unable to hear about holiness without fixating on inner uncleanness. After years of “I can’t…I don’t…I never…I’m worthless,” soon despair settles into the soul.
This is where we come in and say, “You have value.” This is where we say to our brethren, “I believe in you, and Jesus is looking upon you with favor.” This is where we give the ultimate good news, for both sinner and saint: “God has it covered. He gives a robe of pure righteousness to those who simply trust in Him. Your wretchedness, traded in for His righteousness.”
“I’ve got you covered,” says your Savior. Maybe you aren’t the apostle Paul, maybe you’re not George Whitfield, maybe you’ll never be Martin Luther or Charles Spurgeon or one of the many famously gifted, out-front saints of old.
Let those ghosts go. They aren’t your standard. You’re covered. And you have a unique role to play, one which will bring delight to your God and your own soul.
No, you can’t be that. But you’re not a nobody. Be His.