The fine line between humility & saying “no” to God

Have you ever said something like this?

“I’m not going to get involved in this ministry because I’m not great at that thing – other people are much better.”

“I’m not going to reach out to this person because I’ll become too prideful.”

“I’m not going to have guests over for dinner because I’m not a great host.”

“I’m not going to (start this outreach / write this book / go through with this idea) that I feel strongly about because I’m not (good enough / smart enough / experienced enough).

Often when we say these kinds of things, we think we’re being humble.  (Or at least, I do!)

But here’s the thing.  That’s not humility — those are excuses.

Moses did this.  When God called him to lead the Israelites out of slavery, Moses said:

“But who am I that I should do this thing?”

“But what if no one listens to me?”

“But I’m a terrible speaker.”

Maybe Moses thought he was being humble.  But God was calling him, and Moses tried to say “no.

As Jen Wilkin points out in Women of the Word, God does not answer Moses by attempting to build his self-esteem.  He doesn’t say, “Oh but you are wonderful and special, Moses!  You are a great speaker and I know people will listen to you!”  Instead God says, “I will help you.”  “I will be with you.”

Besides this, my deficiencies actually make God’s power more clear:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ ” — 2 Corinthians 12:9

I may not be the best writer.  I may be a sub-par cook and a not-so-fantastic host.  I may not be the “best” person to start or get involved in a certain ministry.  There probably are others who are much more capable of carrying out my idea.

But God says this:

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Do it anyway.  I’ll be with you.”

“And it’s not about you anyway.  It’s about me.”

6 thoughts on “The fine line between humility & saying “no” to God

  1. We become better at doing something by doing it! If we feel compelled ( or called) to do something, that’s probably part of what we need to do.

    Stepping out in faith to do something, even if we don’t feel we’re quite ready is scary! As we do something, we learn and become better at it!

    Some of my earlier posts I’ve since deleted, and others have stood the test of time, with some polishing up down the road!

    I now have a Resources page where I’ve got links for over 50 of my most helpful articles! I didn’t think I’d be able to do that when I first started writing!

    I was an artist, but the publisher of my first illustrated children’s book saw something in me and encouraged me to write down my philosophical thoughts into a book! Even with his encouragement I still didn’t see myself as a writer, and started out writing in the teeniest tiniest little notebooks I could find!

    With time and practice I learned and polished my writing skills!

    That’s how to do it! Step by step!

    You have a lovely writing voice and a lot to share! Keep going!

    Peace, Tamara

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the encouragement to “step out of your comfort zone and use some of our talents in ways that can be helpful to others.”


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