Am I a bad Christian?
I received this question privately. I don’t think she’s the only one struggling with this, so I asked for permission to share her question.
Dear Suzie, self-doubt has plagued me my entire life. That only makes me more frustrated because I have heard that once you are fully focused on Christ, you won’t ever have confidence issues. When I saw your 21-Day Adventure, I thought: “This is my one thing I can’t seem to get past.” This leads me to doubt myself more. What a mess! Am I a bad Christian? Am I not reading my Bible enough? Do I need to pray more?
I’m glad that she asked her question, but it makes my heart heavy. If doubting makes you a “bad Christian,” then that disqualifies many great women and men of faith.
When the Lord spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:1-12) and spelled out his plan for him, Moses said (paraphrased), “Lord, I’m not the right person. I stutter (Exodus 4:10-11).” God expressed confidence, while Moses pointed out his inadequacy.
For a long time I thought Moses’ stuttering was literal — until I read this verse:
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. Exodus 7:22
When I studied that further, I discovered that Moses was educated by the best of the best. He lived as an adoptive grandson of the Pharaoh. While Moses pointed out his flaws, people and God saw him as a born leader.
Paul was passionate, but a critical word from listeners had the power to plant doubt (2 Corinthians 10:10). Can you imagine sharing your heart with a crowd, only to hear that you were “unimpressive and your speaking amounts to nothing?”
Yet Paul planted churches, witnessed miracles, and is still considered the greatest evangelist of all time. God had a plan to expand the church to reach the Gentiles, and Paul was a part of that plan. Maybe he wasn’t the best speaker in all the land, but he was anointed and that was greater than a perfect 3-point sermon.If you follow Jesus, it won't be a doubt-free walk. It will be a dependent walk. #livingfreetogether Click To Tweet
We all struggle with doubt.
The problem is when we allow doubt to overshadow God’s trust in us.Our doubt in ourselves isn't greater than God's trust in us. #livingfreetogether Click To Tweet
My answer to “A” was simple.
You are not a bad Christian. You are a Christ follower. The more we focus on Christ, the more we see how human we all are. That leads us to place our confidence in him, rather than our own abilities.
Read your bible because it draws you closer to him. It teaches you. Pray because it’s communication with God, and there’s power in prayer.
Sister, God can use your life. If you have confidence issues, like we all do, imagine the glory God will receive as he uses your life in spite of them.
Today, let’s take our focus off of our doubts. Let’s stop calling ourselves a “bad Christian” because we have doubts.
If you are following Jesus, it won’t be a doubt-free walk. It will be a dependent walk.
God can use that, yes he can.
Day #9 of Moving Past What You Cannot Change
I’m a speaker. I was fascinated that both Paul and Moses had doubts in their ability to communicate. I understand! Yet it is where God has called me. It’s where I depend on him the most.
- Name one area in which you have doubted that God can use you.
If you look at the life of Paul or Moses, you see both the weakness and how God used them in spite of their doubts.
- How might God see your weakness or doubt different than you?
Moses said he was a stutterer. Stephen said he was powerful in both speech and action.
- Which of these are true?
- Is it possible that they could both be true, and why?