When I was a teenager, there was this thing we would do when anyone would do something epic, I believe you call it now, other people would fake bow and say “I’m not worthy” over and over. The idea was that the other person did something so well that no one else should even try to attempt it. Our church recently began a new ministry and as people were approached about becoming involved in this new area of service, I began to see a common theme. “I’m not worthy” was a common response. They may not have used those words, but the result was the same: “I don’t have enough Bible knowledge.” “I don’t know what I would contribute.” “I can’t teach.”
I feel the sincerity in their statements. After all, none of us are worthy. We are all familiar with the verse, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We tend to believe however, that our sins are ones others can’t understand. “If you saw the way I talk to my husband or parents”, we think. “If you knew the thoughts that run through my head, you would understand that I am unworthy of service.” “With my fears, my addictions, my lack of self-control, who am I to be placed in a position of advising, teaching or leading?”
You may be surprised to find that these feelings you feel as a young women are often felt by those decades older. So how do we deal with these feelings? I think we need to change how we look at worthiness in the following ways:
We need to remember we are all on the same playing field.
Once we have become a Christian, we are all covered in the same blood. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” This pure, sinless blood cleanses us from every stain, every mistake. Christ transforms us into someone worthy! Paul teaches that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (1 Cor. 5:17-18) You may not immediately become a great teacher or have loads of Bible knowledge, but don’t let feelings of unworthiness keep you from pursuing those things.
We need to see feelings of unworthiness as a call to action.
I remember the first time I taught a ladies Bible class. I was a young college student who felt totally unworthy to teach these ladies anything, and I think I read a story out of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” or something and sat down. It was not great. I remember the thoughts of not having anything to share with these women who had so much more Bible knowledge than me, so many deeper experiences than me. I also remember I was asked to do it because there were only two other women who were willing at that time to teach. Sometimes the things we feel the most unworthy to do, may be exactly what is needed of us, and what will help us grow the most spiritually. The great thing about starting young is that you have a whole lot of time to improve, and that people are usually very forgiving of your mistakes!
As the new ministry began, we ended up having an amazing response to the call for workers. Many women have stepped out of their comfort zone to provide a service to the church. And many other women in the church serve in different ways that edify and grow the church. My appeal to you is to not let your feelings of unworthiness (and you will have them) cripple your spiritual growth. Use those feelings as a call to action, remember we are all made worthy by Christ’s blood, and tackle something you feel unworthy to do. You might just find you have a special talent your church greatly needed.