Christ equips us to serve him with effectiveness

Published 10:55 pm Monday, May 22, 2017

By Michael Brooks | Brooks is a professor at Judson College and a weekly contributor to the Selma Times Journal.

We’re taught not to identify people with potentially hurtful descriptions nowadays, such as “she’s blonde,” or “he’s got a big nose.”

It’s interesting that one of Israel’s judges, Ehud, was identified as left-handed. This is unusual since many ancient people thought left-handedness was a physical imperfection.

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The French word, gauche, has come into our English usage to describe one who is uncultured or socially awkward.

The word literally means “left,” and the implication is that a leftie is awkward or even nefarious. As I remind my left-handed friends, Jack the Ripper was a leftie.

Well, all in good fun. Ten percent of us are lefties, and this group claims such notables as seven U.S. presidents, Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Ringo Starr and Bart Simpson.

God used Ehud’s left-handedness to deliver Israel from the cruel dictator Eglon of Moab. The story is told in Judges 3. The Bible is filled with stories of others who likewise had imperfections.

Think of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Saul and Peter. Even Billy Graham raised a prodigal son until Franklin was thoroughly converted at age 22. The truth is that all of us have imperfections.

There’s no such thing as a perfect servant of God. To quote a well-known politician, we’re all a basket of deplorables. But our imperfections aren’t surprising to God. It’s interesting that we often respond to God’s call to serve with excuses. “Lord, you don’t understand. I have a problem. It’s (fill in the blank).”

The very idea that we think we’re informing God about something he doesn’t know.

He’s the one who made us and knows us intimately.

And this is true in confession as well.

When we confess sin, he doesn’t say “Really?”; he says, “Finally. You’re being honest.”

But it’s also true that God’s promise is to invest in his willing servants so that we’re equipped for ministry.

Paul wrote, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Like a hand in a glove enables the glove to be used effectively for its purpose, so Christ in us equips us needy sinners to serve him with effectiveness.