This Can Never Be Said About You

 

thumbs downNothing beats the Bible when it comes to flawed and unlikely characters. Some were real oddballs; others had disadvantages that weren’t their fault. Here are just a few you’ll find throughout the Old and New Testaments (you can click on any name to read more of their story):

Polygamists – King Solomon  was said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines; many other Biblical patriarchs were also polygamists;

Criminals – The apostle Paul (known then as Saul) persecuted and imprisoned Christians prior to his conversion;  Zacchaeus was a notorious tax collector who cheated his own people; Moses  and King David  were both murderers;

CowardsGideon’s faith was so weak he repeatedly demanded God give him a sign before he would obey (and then he obeyed at night so no one would see him); Peter  blatantly and repeatedly denied knowing Christ;

Too young – Timothy  was a valued ministry partner of the apostle Paul at a very early age; Mary was scarcely more than a child when she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus;

Too old – Zechariah and Elizabeth, though infertile, became the parents of the prophet John the Baptist in their old age; Moses  was 80 when God called him to lead his nation out of bondage;

Single – Lydia, a businesswoman, was instrumental in starting the church at Philippi; Phoebe was a deacon in the church at Cenchreae in Corinth;

Divorced – Despite five failed marriages, the woman at the well was chosen to bear witness to her townspeople that the Messiah had come;

The “wrong” gender – Deborah, Israel’s only female judge in a male-dominated culture, led the Israelites to military victory against Canaan; Esther risked her life to successfully intervene on behalf of an entire race of people before the Persian king;

The “wrong” ethnicity – The Good Samaritan became an icon of compassion by binding up the wounds of his enemy; the Roman Centurion who supervised the crucifixion proclaimed the divinity of Christ at the foot of the cross;

Outcasts – The Ethiopian eunuch took his testimony of conversion and baptism to other marginalized people; Rahab, a prostitute,  hid the Israelite spies and smoothed the way for God’s people to enter the Promised Land; a sinful woman, scorned by the religious elite, anointed Christ’s feet with tears of contrition and received His public forgiveness.

Most of the people who did the really important stuff in the Bible were looked at sideways by those in “polite” society. They were marginalized and discounted but God intentionally used them – and still does:

  • To reassure us that everyone has value in His eyes;
  • To prove that none of us is capable of anything heroic or purposeful on our own, and
  • To remind us that His plans are achieved not because of human effort but because of His divine power.

My pastor recently put it this way,

“God uses our most severe limitations as the stage from which to display His limitless strength.”

You may be divorced or single, female, minority, young, old, damaged by your past or hobbled by the legacy you were handed. 

But here’s what can never be said about you: that because of your flaws, failures, or perceived shortcomings, you are disqualified from being a part of God’s plan to change the world. 

You are loved deeply, valued greatly, and specifically invited to join God in His grand mission to rescue a perishing world. You have a contribution to make that is unique no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done. 

 There are those who would try to tell you otherwise, that because you don’t meet certain criteria, you’re out. You don’t get to play. But that’s not what God’s Word says. You can read it for yourself. Surrendering to His invitation is all it takes.

You are not disqualified.

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About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

10 thoughts on “This Can Never Be Said About You”

  1. Sometimes I wonder why He chooses me for things I am so not qualified to do, and then I realize that’s exactly why! Thanks for reminding me – He is the strong one.

  2. Good point, Darlene. He is definitely the strong one. Thankfully, He is also patient, as we need to be regularly reminded that it’s not us, but Him who accomplishes His good will.

  3. This was an uplifting post Diane! You know even though we may read the bible often times we may not connect the stories of the lives of the people it contains to our own. Thanks for this gentle reminder.

    1. The Bible is a collection of so many small, interesting stories and then I love how it all comes together as a BIG story! You’re right, it’s easy to overlook the fact that people have really not changed all that much. Thankfully, neither has God. Great to hear from you, Vernette!

  4. Oh Diane! So well done! Just what I needed today and definitely have to share it with someone I love who really needs to hear and believe he is loved! Thanks for sharing your gift!!

    1. I’m glad this reflection was helpful; just knowing that repentant sinners are always welcomed with open arms by God is a great comfort to me, too. Your feedback is always so encouraging to me, Michelle.

    1. It really is a grand narrative. I find it so encouraging to contemplate the big picture of Scripture, especially in these troubled times. I’m reminded that God’s overarching story has a positive ending, despite how it looks from our small perspectives day by day.

Your feedback is welcome!