I didn’t attend an Ivy League school.
I was not a cum laude graduate.
I’m not a founder, innovator, CEO, or visionary of any company.
I sit on no boards.
I am the trustee of nothing more than my personal belongings.
I have received no honorary doctorates.
I have not been named most influential, listed as most attractive, or voted most likely to succeed.
I am not a rising star in any field, industry, or arena.
I have not written a New York Times Bestseller, and no one has publicly endorsed, recommended, or vouched for me. I don’t have any letters after my name. I can’t charge an exorbitant hourly fee for my time. I don’t speak on any circuits, have given no TED talks, and have been the keynote speaker less than once. No buildings, streets, or hospitals have been named in honor of me. I have an unimpressive family background and do not come from a long line of important people.
And that is okay. Really, it’s just fine.
Why? Because God is utterly unimpressed by my résumé. God scoffs at any attempt by me or you to prove our worthiness. Our accomplishments do not justify our existence. Our accolades cannot merit us any greatness. God is unimpressed by our collection of readers, likes, retweets, friends, connections, or admirers.
Don’t drink your own cool-aid.
We Are Grass
The very first verse my daughter ever memorized was Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” It seemed like an odd one to begin with, but now in retrospect it might have been the best one.
“God will use your weakness and obscurity for his glory.”
We need to be reminded again and again that we are like grass — disposable, temporary, fleeting, momentary. We are here and gone again. We have one life to use, and the usefulness of that one life depends not on our résumé or even how much we know.
The Failure of the Wisest Man Ever
Compared to you or me, King Solomon had it all — wisdom, wealth, fame, power. Solomon was given a mind like no one before and like none even after him (1 Kings 3:12). He was a brilliant poet, a skillful songwriter, a genius botanist, and a first-class biologist. And he was an exalted and successful king. Solomon was DaVinci, Einstein, Bach, Jordan, Augustus, and Shakespeare rolled into one superior man.
Yet, Solomon turned away from God (1 Kings 11:4, 9–12). Having all the wisdom in the world didn’t guarantee fidelity. Wisdom didn’t guard him against a wandering heart. Wisdom didn’t ensure obedience. Don’t get me wrong, wisdom is important. If we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it (James 1:5). Wisdom alone, though, is insufficient.
It doesn’t matter if you have theology degrees or mothered a dozen healthy, happy children or started several 501(c)3’s to feed the poor and end trafficking. God is unimpressed. Being a creative, innovative or highly effective leader is insufficient. We might make Jim Collins proud, but God yawns at our leadership abilities. We might be a life-hacking, productivity guru. That doesn’t make us anything more in God’s eyes.
Our Foolishness, God’s Greatness
We need to remember that God uses the foolish.
God picks the scrawniest little girl to lead off on his kickball team.
God chooses the custodian with a heavy accent to share the gospel and save lives.
God uses the overwhelmed and disheveled mother to nurture her children into spiritual giants.
God commissions the invalid retiree to uphold dozens, even hundreds of missionaries on the field.
God calls the autistic man to give the most profound articulation of his simple faith.
Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26–29)
“If your résumé is sparse, your skills unimpressive, and your wisdom just average, fret not. God can use even you.”
If your résumé is sparse, your intellect feeble, your skills unimpressive, and your wisdom just average, fret not. God can use even you — even me. God wants to use those who look away from their self-sufficiency to his all-sufficiency. God uses all those who humble themselves before the cross, boasting only in him — his strength, his wisdom, his righteousness, his accomplishment.
God uses pathetic people for his glorious purposes to show his superior power. Do not begrudge your weakness. Do not lament your insufficiency. Rejoice that Christ is all-sufficient and always dependable. Embrace your weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon you to reveal God’s surpassing greatness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Be encouraged Christian, God intends to use you in all your multifaceted weakness and obscurity for his glory. It’s okay to be a nobody, if in all you do, you serve Somebody.