I’ve had a lot of insecurities over the years; from lack of confidence, to hating physical features, to doubting my abilities and skills. Even shying away from public speaking because of my southern accent, and weird facial movements, to feeling inadequate to care for my children. Unworthiness and shame is all I was left with; it was all that consumed me.

I’ve been studying Romans this past year and this week we are discussing God’s gifts; the attributes and characteristics of God that He has so graciously and lovingly given us. I’ve known one of my gifts since before I was saved, but I’m just now beginning to understand it. And how to use it. I thought I was to use it freely, somehow. However, this week I’m realizing some truth that is ironically setting me free. The freedom that I previously thought has been tuned over, in a sense. It’s been flipped. Like looking through a piece of clear glass, I see what was on the other side. But I’m on a completely different side, too. One side was just me and this other side is me with Christ.

Now, that may not have made much sense…at all! But my point is; when we are alone, we use our abilities alone. We use them for ourselves. We control them and decide when is best to use them. But when we use them with Jesus, glory is given to God. Our gifts become useful, not useless. Unselfishly. They work FOR the church, and not against the church. They glorify God in all His glory. And when we use them together, unified, we strengthen the church, and we become a witness of His glory.

I love these moments of revelation. The aha moments that leave me in tears of joy and gratitude. The realization that I need Him, more than I thought I did just a few seconds before. Those moments that leave me face down and praising God for His wisdom and clarity. I truly pity those who don’t know Him, yet have every opportunity. God turns no one away. The realization that the life I had before was nothing in comparison. Nothing! This is life! Anything without Jesus is not.

What we do in this world matters. We can reflect His light, and bring Him glory, or we can selfishly, and unsuccessfully, make it about us.

My confidence is IN Him alone. My “good” characteristics and attributes are an image OF only Him. My abilities and skills are given to me, in love, BY Him. When I make them about me, I fail, no matter how successful I look and seem.

Praise be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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