1 Timothy 4:12-16
Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
How would you fill in this blank?
Let no one have contempt for your _____________________.
If you were required to jump out of your chair today and take up a ministry like Paul’s, what would be your primary concern? Would you be afraid that people would mock your lack of experience? Would you protest that you’re too old? Too young? Not bold enough or articulate enough?
We all have things that make us feel as if we could never measure up, but that shouldn’t discourage us from trying to spread the good news of Christ in our corner of the world. God knows that we have challenges, but he still calls us to move past them. What’s more, he wants to help us. That’s why he asks us to consider another fill-in-the-blank statement:
Do not neglect the gifts of __________________that God has given you.
It’s easy to focus on our perceived shortcomings or hurdles, but this isn’t how God sees us. Yes, he knows where we struggle. He knows that people may oppose us or dismiss us out of hand. But he also knows everything that he has poured into our lives. He knows, better than anyone else, that grace is more than capable of lifting us up and helping us deal with whatever limitations we may think we have.
Today, think about these two blanks. What are your challenges? What are your gifts? Be careful not to focus only on the first question. Make it a point to give just as much thought to the second. You may be surprised by what you find!
Remember, you don’t ever have to worry about being God’s perfect servant. God doesn’t want perfection. He just wants intention. He simply wants a desire to walk with him every day. If you can offer him just that, he will be sure to fill in all of the blanks you find in your life.
“Lord, erase my fear of failure or rejection, and remind me of my gifts and your guiding hand. By your grace, help me do the work you have set aside for me.”~WAU