How many people do you know who are always beating themselves up, believing that they’re not worthy? Maybe you would include yourself among those you’re thinking of. Interestingly, it’s most of us…being hyper-critical of ourselves, always second guessing, thinking that the other guy or girl has it figured out.
The above was me for the longest time. Seemingly confident from the outside, I was a wreck on the inside, always beating myself up, profoundly experiencing a total lack of self-love.
I was at Saturday morning Mass on January 25, 2020, which was the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the Apostle. I love the story of Saul becoming Paul, Acts 9:1-22. Saul was a sinner among sinners. His profession, pre-conversion, was to kill Christians. He was notorious. He was evil. Yet Jesus picked him.
After blinding Saul, Jesus picked Ananias to go speak to him. When Ananias questioned Jesus, given Saul’s known terror, Jesus responded in verses 9:15-16, “Go, for this one is an instrument chosen by me to convey my name before nations and kings and the sons of Israel. I will reveal to him how much he must suffer on behalf of my name.”
Jesus isn’t just talking to Ananias and by extension Saul, but He’s speaking to you and me. It doesn’t matter what any of us have ever done. Jesus makes the same invitation to all of us.
I love the fact that Jesus picked 2 of 3 of the biggest sinners (Judas wasn’t one of them) in His world, to build the Church. After denying Jesus 3 times, in Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”. In Saul, who became Paul, we have the most prolific Apostle there was, authoring over half of the New Testament.
Critical to both and critical to you and me is the following three things:
- Acknowledging the voice of the Lord – not just hearing His invitation (He’s inviting us all the time), but taking heed to it, seeking where that invitation takes us.
- Engaging in conversion – many times it doesn’t just happen. Often we need to want it…and there are things we can do to get there (page 71 of my book).
- Becoming convicted in pursuing our God given purpose – all designed with special and unique talents, we each have a very specific purpose. We need to recognize that purpose and pursue it with vigor.
Related to #3, you don’t have leave the secular world to follow God’s Will. You don’t have to be in ministry to do ministry. You do need (if I can be so bold) the same exchanged life as Peter and Paul.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of us aren’t going to be Peter or Paul. We won’t be speaking to the masses, nor having the impact that they did. Here’s the thing, God’s not calling you to be Peter or Paul, or Mother Theresa, Pope Saint John Paul, or Jesus Himself. God is calling you to be you.
The point of this blog is that God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. We’ve all been at that place, believing that we’re not worthy. Here’s some news…the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for Saints.
And here’s the further point, THE ONLY WAY to live a life of Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment is to answer Jesus’ call, like Paul and Peter, and do 1-3 above.
Question – what’s the thing you can’t get over? Love to hear from you. Love to help. Please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with the answer to that question, comments, questions, or concerns.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!!