12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. I Timothy 1:12-16
Paul is a great example of how to have a proper assessment of one’s self. He understood that the grace that he was given by the Lord had nothing to do with him, his titles, education, status or any other factor. God’s grace was, in fact, bestowed upon him in spite of all of these things. Paul was clear about his past and his previous attacks on the Christian community, yet God poured grace on him “abundantly”, he states.
When you really take time to assess your life – all the things you’ve done or haven’t done – all of the bad choices you’ve made and even the good ones – you realize that God has been with you throughout it all and that He had his hands on your life way before you even acknowledged Him or accepted Him into your heart.
Paul stated that he was the worst of sinners! He didn’t walk around in his newfound grace and boast about how awesome a missionary he was or how many churches he had started or helped, nor how captivating his sermons were. Paul understood that he had been given a second chance in spite of all his faults and that God was working in him to do His perfect will.
Many of us are gifted to do amazing things for the kingdom of God. I’m sometimes amazed how God uses even me, but I know that it’s really not me or about me. In spite of me, He uses me. We have to have a proper assessment of our place in this world. We are here to bring glory and honor to God. Yes, your job may be a good one, yes you’ve graduated head of your class – but without God – nothing! Our sin ranks us at the head of the pack – the worst of sinners – but thanks be to God who gives us victory through His Son Jesus Christ! He is able to use even us! Now, that’s something to shout about!
c/Candie A. Price