October 20, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Counting Yourself Unworthy

In the 13th chapter of the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas are teaching the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ to the Jews and the Gentiles at Antioch.

After teaching in the synagogue, the gentiles compelled them to come back the next Sabbath and teach the same thing again to everybody. The whole town showed up.

However, when the Jews saw the crowd, they were filled with envy and began to speak against and contradict what Paul and Barnabas were teaching. They even became blasphemous.

In the 46th verse Paul and Barnabas become emboldened and began to speak back to these disruptive Jews. They told them that it was God’s plan that salvation through Jesus Christ first be presented to them and then to the Gentiles. Paul then uses a most interesting phrase. He said, “… but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”

The part of that verse that jumped out at me is, “… judge yourselves unworthy…”  (Read those last three words again and meditate on them for a few moments)  “… judge yourselves unworthy …”

They rejected what Paul and Barnabas was saying because they judged themselves unworthy. I wonder how many of us miss the blessings of Jesus Christ because we judge ourselves unworthy!

For many years, when God would challenge me to do something, I would immediately ask, “Why me?”

I would then begin to tell Him all my inadequacies, faults, and failures. I judged myself unworthy to do what He was asking of me. Then I would begin to rattle off a list of names of people whom I felt were far more qualified.

However, as I have become older and more experienced, things have changed. Today, by and large, when God leads me to do something, I no longer ask, “Why me?” Instead, I have starting asking, “Why not me?” I have come to the realization that if God is leading me to do it – He’ll certainly see me through it! And you can take that to the bank!

What I’m about to say may seem boastful. However, I don’t mean it that way. I often tell people that when God is anointing me to preach – I had just as soon hear me preach as I had Billy Graham. But I quickly add that when God is not anointing me to preach, I don’t want to hear me anymore than anybody else does!

It took me a long time to start thinking like I do now. And I can’t help but wonder how many blessings and opportunities I missed because I refused to see myself as God saw me – or even as others saw me! In short, how much more could I have done for Jesus, my family, my church, my friends, or myself, had I not judged myself unworthy?

Perhaps somebody reading this column today is facing a watershed moment in your life. God has led you to something, your scared to death, and you’re asking, “Why me?” Perhaps it’s a ministry assignment in your local church. Maybe it’s one far away. Maybe it’s a commitment to a relationship. Maybe it means new responsibilities. Maybe it’s … one of a thousand different scenarios.

The point is that whatever “it” is; “it” is stretching you and moving you out of your comfort zone. But here is the question that begs an answer: Will you miss what God has for you because “you have judged yourself unworthy,” or will you simply begin to ask, “Why not me?”

It was John Greenleaf Whitter who said, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been.’”

Whatever “it” is, if God is leading, don’t judge yourself unworthy. Go for it. Yes! Go for it!

Brother Aaron  

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