To live and lead like Jesus requires that we embrace the fact that we are people with deep weaknesses and vulnerabilities. At the same time, it also requires we embrace the glorious truth that we are incredible – with unique passions, histories, gifts, experiences, sufferings, and destinies.
In the early years of my faith, most of the discipleship I received focused primarily on depravity and sin. The good seeds of God hidden beneath my unique person as an image-bearer of God were rarely mentioned. Granted, every part of our being is flawed and disfigured by sin. Nonetheless, because of God’s image in us, goodness also dwells within every human being. Henri Nouwen describes it well:
For a very long time I considered low self-esteem to be some kind of virtue. I had been warned so often against pride and conceit that I came to consider it a good thing to deprecate myself. But now I realize that the real sin is to deny God’s first love for me, to ignore my original goodness. Because without claiming that first love and that original goodness for myself, I lose touch with my true self and embark on the destructive search among the wrong people and in the wrong places for what can only be found in the house of my Father. (The Return of the Prodigal Son, p. 101).
An unbalanced biblical theology fails to hold these twin tensions together, resulting in all sorts of confusion.
Let me invite you to listen to this podcast message on 1 Corinthians 12, entitled “You’re Incredible.” And allow God to fill you with courage to lead for him in ways, in places, and with people that perhaps you never imagined.