God's word in today's world

Almost too many flaws


Since I was a student, I’ve loved Paul’s letters to Timothy. Probably because I was around the same age as Timothy and needed lots of advice from a mentor to keep me going in the right direction, and also to help me navigate the storms of life.

Right here at the beginning of the letters to Timothy I would like to share something personal with you. At university, well, actually since my school days, I was not a good student. I suspect I would’ve been diagnosed with ADHD as a child, because I still suffer from attention deficit. Indeed, that is the reason why I write, so that I can focus on one thing.

I cannot describe how hard I have to grit my teeth when an e-mail notification appears in the corner of my screen, to keep myself from opening it. I know I shouldn’t do it, but before I know it, I’ve slipped away from Bible study to the e-mail program.

My ability to concentrate is somewhat flawed. And then God came and He helped me to overcome this flaw by helping me to write.

I felt very guilty about my studies. I felt guilty about the fact that I spent most of my time driving buses, making heaps of money in restaurants, and having my own irrigation business, but not spending much time in class and even less with my books. I felt guilty about the heap of books remaining brand-new.

But I was very grateful to a few friends who had mercy on me and dragged me through the Seminary.

Academically, I was somewhat flawed too. Then God came and He helped me to convey his Word to ordinary people in an ordinary way.

And while I’m being honest, here’s another flaw: My memory. When I read something in the Bible, I can’t remember it for long. It sticks in my mind for about 5 minutes and then, woops, it’s gone, like last month’s salary.

While I was still working on the farm a few years ago, God came one day and helped me to overcome that flaw and allowed me to make my fingers dance on a keyboard.

I’ve got many other flaws, but rather let me stop here before everybody clicks on unsubscribe.

I’m an ordinary person. An ordinary, sinful person.

Then when I read Paul’s first verse, tears trickle down my cheeks: 1I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. Under God our Savior’s command, I’m writing this to you … Because I realise Jesus Christ also sent me specially. And I wonder who am I? Who am I – with all these flaws – that I want to tell others something? Who am I …

Then, when someone responds by saying how much a piece of writing has helped, I realise without a doubt: There is a God. Yes, there is a Spirit that works and straightens stuff written by a person with flaws.

Thank you, God, for the privilege. Thank you, reader, that I may write and that you may read it.

May this also teach you that God wants to use you too, even if you feel you have too many flaws …

Scripture

1 Tim 1:1-2

Reflection

What flaws do you have?

What stops you from giving them to God?

Do you believe that God can use you despite your flaws?

Prayer

Yes, Father, there is a God, because on our own we simply have too many flaws. Amen.

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