Naught From Myself

“I expect naught from myself, everything from the work of Christ. My service has its objectivity in that expectation and by it I am freed from all anxiety about my insufficiency and failure.” ~Bonhoeffer

Not quite. Not really. If I’m truly honest with myself (and with you) I am not completely freed from all anxiety about my insufficiency and failure. As the good news preacher here at Legacy, I realize that whatever is accomplished is done only by God’s grace, Christ’s work, and the Holy Spirit’s power. I know that. It’s not me. It’s never me. It’s my God working in me and through me. And that does relieve a lot of the pressure. That knowledge does fill me with confidence and courage.

But I don’t know if I’ll ever lose the feelings of inadequacy that overcome me on Sundays; the dread — almost — that one day everybody’s going to wake up and see me for the fraud I really am; the fear that some day soon everybody’s going to think, “You know, he’s really not that good.”

Christ in me. It’s my only hope. It’s my only chance. And I know that.

It’s been demonstrated to me — proven to me — every Sunday now for two years here at Legacy.

Two years ago today I stood before this church family and pledged my love and loyalty to our Lord and to my God-ordained task of studying and praying and teaching and preaching with them. I promised them that, while there would be times they would be disappointed in me, there would be times I would let them down, it would never ever be from a lack of giving everything I have to the task.

Two years ago today.

In some ways it’s easier now than it was then. In a lot of ways it’s even harder.

Time together makes things better. Relationship is key. Trust only comes with the passing of months and years. Time also means more opportunity to disappoint. And I know I’ve disappointed my brothers and sisters here. I’ve fallen short with our shepherds and my fellow ministers. There have been plenty of moments when I wish I had a do-over. But that’s where this time together also helps. We know each other now. We love each other more. And I feel their patience with me and their forgiveness of me, even their endurance of me, streaming out of relationship, pouring out of hearts united by our Savior and our common goal of serving and worshiping our God.

I can’t imagine being at a better place. Our Lord has blessed my family and me to be in a church with unlimited potential to advance the Gospel and turn Northeast Tarrant County upside down for the Kingdom. And he’s surrounded us with loving and caring people who are nurturing me to be the good news preacher God’s called me to be.

Until Christ is formed in us,

Allan

1 Comment

  1. Howard

    Speaking of competencies: you know far more about the Bible than do I.

    Speaking of your post: We can gain some peace by realizing that others are far less concerned about our perfections than are we. In fact, when others see imperfections in us the reaction is just as likely to be delite as disappointment.

    Maybe also there is comfort in realizing that when you do disappoint yourself in the pulpit you only disappoint yourself since everyone else is daydreaming. (:))

    Howard

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