30 October 2015 - clay
The perfect is the enemy of the Gospel
A few weeks ago, our pastor brought up the idea that the church is not a place where people go when they have it all together but should be a place where the broken go to find healing. This is something that I think those around us have forgotten because we don’t show it. We have this idea that we have to put on a brave face and a happy mask in order to hide the brokenness in our lives.
We shouldn’t. Trying to be perfect defeats the purpose of the Gospel. The Gospel exists because we can’t bridge the gap between God and us. No amount of effort on our part could actually bring us any closer to God. The acts of service we perform are not accomplishments designed to ensure our entry into the Kingdom. They are an outward working of our love for Christ and the gift given.
We spend too much of our life looking for perfect. We don’t publish our writing because it just isn’t exactly right yet. We don’t release our software because there are still little things we don’t like about it. We don’t make the phone call to the hurting friend because we don’t know exactly the right thing they want to hear.
Perfect doesn’t matter; showing up does. We should put that novel out there because maybe the message that came spilling out of our heart is exactly what someone else needed to hear. We release the software because honestly, software is never finished. We make that phone call because our friend isn’t looking for the perfect pick-me-up, they’re looking for someone to listen.
The world doesn’t need us to be perfect with our presentation of the Gospel because, in all truth, we won’t be. And what should be encouraging is that our job isn’t to present it well. Our job is simply to present it. We are part of a chain of events that takes place in a person’s life where they are drawn to God.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were arguing over who was more important to follow:
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
– 1 Corinthians 3:5-7
The responsibility for making the Gospel grow in someone is on God, it’s not on us. We simply plant the seed and nurture it along. Sometimes we plant in soil that isn’t fertile, and sometimes we put too much water on the seed. God is still in control.
The good news of the Gospel is not ours to perfect, but ours to share. If we truly believe that good news, if we truly are witnesses to what it has done in our own life, aren’t we obliged to share it with those around us? If we can spread the word about a movie or a restaurant that we don’t entirely understand, we can spread the Gospel.