I Am Unqualified
Back in July it was announced I have filed the paperwork to one day begin Second Chance Church.
Since that time there have been those in the online world who have been quite consistent in communicating to me I am “unqualified.”
I’ve intentionally not responded to that accusation in particular until now…and to that accusation I say…
Those who are calling me “unqualified” are absolutely correct. Taking a look at this Scripture I will point out why I feel unqualified…
I Timothy 3
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach,
- All so often in my life I was absolutely NOT above reproach
- I have, on more than one occasion, gossiped about others.
- There have been way too many “not so clean” jokes I’ve either told or laughed at.
- There is no doubt I did not tell the truth at the DMV when they asked about my weight.
…faithful to his wife…
- I really did think I was in the clear on this one until I remembered…
- Jesus said if we even look at another woman lustfully – that we’ve committed adultery with her in our hearts…and on more than one occasion I’ve looked (whether in person or on a movie/television show).
- So – obviously I failed here as well.
- Not me – I literally became angry at a guy who was in front of me at the grocery store the other day…in the 10 items or less line…who had 17 items (yes, I counted!)
- I flashed my brights the other night on the interstate at a car the other night (they were going SLOW in the left lane) – when they didn’t pull over I passed them on the right and gave them a dirty look!
- When I saw that the person mentioned above was old…I did not feel compassion but rather said to myself, “those people should have to take a drivers test!”
- The other day I went to lunch with a friend and was FULL…but when the waitress asked if we wanted dessert I said “yes” (telling myself I would only have a few bites) – after finishing the dessert I felt HORRIBLE!
- Just a question here—if discipline and self control go hand in hand—then what about those in ministry that are overweight or obese?
- Needless to say I have failed in this area in more ways than one!
- Definitely dropped the ball here as I would much prefer to meet someone at a restaurant than have them at my house. I love my privacy – and you can’t sit around in your boxers and watch TV if other people are around (well – I guess you can – but it would be a bit weird!)
…able to teach…
- I would like to think I was/am able to teach – but confession here: I’ve always felt “less than” when it comes to teaching…and know without a doubt there are way smarter people out there who can teach so much better than me.
- As I was working on my messages this morning for Freedom Church in the U.K. this weekend I had an overwhelming sense of fear that I simply was not going to be able to clearly communicate what I feel needs to be communicated – and that someone else would be much better suited for the task.
3 not given to drunkenness
- Uh…well…there’s that!
…not violent but gentle…
- Recently in the airport I cut a guy off accidentally and he mumbled something under his breath to me – before I knew it I said out loud, “Did you say something?” He kept walking and I said louder – “No, seriously, do you have a problem?” (AND…I was on my way to consult with a church, definitely not my proudest moment.
- And I haven’t punched anyone lately – but have DEFINITELY wanted to a few times—which…Jesus said if we are angry at someone in our hearts then we are guilty – so – definitely missed the mark here.
- I love to argue way too much at times…especially over things that really matter…like college football, politics and the end times!!!
- AND…sometimes I forget that other people are entitled to an opinion other than mine, so instead of listening to them I try to get them to agree with me–and when they don’t see things my way I become a tad bit upset.
…not a lover of money…
- Guilty here – I was homeless for a while in high school – and I work really hard because I never want to go back to that place – however, I have been guilty at times of obsessing about how much I may make rather than the difference the Lord may want to use me to make.
…4 He must manage his own family well…
- Definitely a failure here.
…and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect…
- Charisse is an AWESOME young lady – but – she’s 10!!!
- I am honestly not sure if she respects me at all–but my prayer is one day she will.
5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
- Great question!
6 He must not be a recent convert
- Definitely blew this one as I was on staff at a church less than a year after becoming a Christian!
…or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil…
- So true – my early church staff position definitely made me self-righteous, prideful and arrogant.
- WHICH is so dangerous – because the people who killed Jesus were not the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners…but the group of people who went to Bible study every single day (Pharisees!)
7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
- I think I have a good reputation with outsiders at this point…but it hasn’t always been this way—especially in college where I believe I drove more non-Christians away from Christ than I realized.
6 An elder must be blameless
- Definitely not blameless – and – thanks to social media I’ve become aware of sins I’ve committed that I was completely unaware of!
…faithful to his wife…
- Already covered this
…a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient…
- Once again – this one is a win…but she’s 10…she’s never asked to do “dine & dash” on a Waffle House date, but it COULD happen one day!
7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless
- Definitely would NOT call myself “blameless”
- Oh crap – when I am passionate about something I can definitely be overbearing.
- Dang it!
…not given to drunkenness…
- Uh…really…this again?
- (Been sober for over 14 months by the way!)
- Dealt with this already – reminder – not violent externally…but…definitely internally!
…not pursuing dishonest gain…
- Think I’m good here – no drug deals, etc – BUT…I have bought a lottery ticket or two…that probably disqualifies me here!
- And if the lottery ticket doesn’t–then I am sure the few hands of Black Jack I’ve played in Vegas does!
… 8 Rather, he must be hospitable…
- A big fat no here (already covered!)
- I even get angry when someone wants to have “a bite” of my food…or “a few” of my fries!
…one who loves what is good…
- While I do love puppies, sunsets and the Clemson Tigers….
- …there are those who would argue I love some things that are NOT good (like smoking a cigar) – so – definitely not doing THE BEST job here.
…who is self-controlled…
- Have battled with self control all of my life (and – so have overweight/obese ministers!)
- Don’t think anyone who knows me would refer to me as “holy!”
- Can’t seem to give up sweets.
- Seriously, a “Hot & Now” sign absolutely pulls me in!
…9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught…
- Have definitely been taught things I have not put into practice
…so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine…
- LOVE encouraging people (but often that is called just making people feel good—which has always confused me…am I supposed to make them feel bad?)
…and refute those who oppose it…
- I probably don’t “refute” others that well as I’ve discovered that there is this gigantic log in my eye–which prevents me from getting the plank out of the eyes of others.
Like I said before – I absolutely do not dispute the fact that, according to the letter of the law laid down by Paul in this passage…I am unqualified.
(AND…I am POSITIVE there are those on Facebook who will be more than happy to fill in the gaps of the things I left out that point even more so to the fact I am unqualified…O God to be as awesome one day as those who attack others on social medial!)
However, if we are going by the letter of the law (and not the spirit of the law) – I honestly don’t anyone on the planet who is batting 1,000 on all of these qualities.
(It would seem Christians have became awesome and pointing out the sins of others in order to not have to deal with their own!)
As I’ve said before – I have never honestly felt qualified in my life, but was reminded recently in a sermon I listened to that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.
I may be unqualified…
But I am also UN-wavering in the fact people who fall down need a Second Chance, and I’m called to start a church not for perfect people, but for those who want to get back up!
I am UN-willing to allow those who don’t know my story to try to tell me what my future should look like.
I am UN-able to give my life to anything other than the local church.
I am UN-phased by those who want me to quit.
I am UN-afraid of the future God has for me.
And I think it is UN-real that God still wants to used a messed up, busted and unqualified guy like me to take the Gospel to as many people as possible.