Does being a doctor disqualify him from needing medical attention? Does a marriage counselor have the perfect marriage? Does being a financial adviser mean she won’t ever have money problems? How does a pastor preach the Word of God unless He has reached perfection?
As a young person I remember thinking that pastors must have obtained a level of perfection only reserved for the chosen men and women of God. I was certain they had the perfect marriage, the perfect children and without a doubt the perfect heart. They did not make mistakes like the rest of us.
I was quite shocked when I married a man whose father was a pastor. He was as godly and as wonderful a man as you would ever want to meet, but I soon found out that he was far from perfect. Through the years I got to see his weaknesses, but it made him no less a man loved and called by God to preach the Gospel. He did it to the best of his ability despite character flaws and challenges in his flesh. Though he was weakened by illness, he never stopped preaching God’s Word. When he could no longer do it from the pulpit, he continued to do so in his actions until God released him from his pain.
When my own husband became a pastor, I questioned him on the difficulty of preaching God’s Word in his imperfection. He reminded me that the message isn’t flawed just the messengers. How much more do we need God’s Word as we recognize our weakness? If we were only allowed to share the Gospel based on our perfection then it would never be preached. We ALL need Jesus, we ALL fall short of His glory. He made it easy for us to obtain the grace and mercy that we need for salvation, He did the hard work at the Cross and in return He asks two very simple things of us. He asks that we accept it and that we offer it to others. When Christ gave up His life for the sins of man He knew none of us would reach perfection until we were united with Him in heaven. He knew it would be a flawed mankind passing on a flawless message.
We have complicated the Gospel message with expectations put on ourselves and others. Christians have been called hypocrites for years we have even labeled each other. Like the word legalism, I think the word hypocrite is one of the most misused words used both by the Christian and secular communities. A hypocrite is one who is “play acting”, they put on a face with the intention of deceiving others into believing they are something they are not. It is a deliberate deception. It is not one who is trying to live out the life they feel God has called them too live, but falls short in the process. The misuse of this word has left some feeling so badly about their faults that they have disqualified themselves from being used by God.
What is hindering you from doing what God has put on your heart to do? Is it constant bombardment of your own weaknesses? Do you feel like a hypocrite because you have not obtained the perfection YOU feel you need to obtain? If you are waiting for that perfection, than you will never do anything. Whether you step out in faith or sit around waiting to obtain perfection you will still fall short. You might as well be doing something good while you are waiting. Chances are that you will find yourself growing more toward the desired perfection as you stumble along the way, tripping and getting back up.