By Carol Round – “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created”—Revelation 4:11(NASB).
Working at one of our church’s many ministries, I get to meet and assist many people who need our services. At our west campus, we offer a free clothes closet, which gets the most traffic. In addition, we offer other assistance, including providing household goods for those in need of items we often take for granted—silverware, glasses, plates, and other small kitchen items.
Recently, a woman requested assistance with household items, specifically dishes, cooking pots, and drinking glasses. After one of our volunteers gathered the necessities, the young woman carried the boxed supplies to her vehicle.
She sat in her car for a few minutes and then reappeared at the door with the free items she’d requested. “I’m not worthy,” she told the person who had helped her. After handing the items over, she left.
I’m Not Worthy
When we discussed among ourselves why she’d returned what was so freely given, one of our volunteers spoke up, “She must have low self-esteem.”
I could relate. As a child, and then later as a teenager and into adulthood, I struggled with low self-esteem. My solution was to become a people-pleaser. Only then did I feel worthy.
I became an over-achiever, seeking perfectionism, which only added to my feelings of not being worthy enough. In my professional life and in my personal life, my striving to be perfect only made me more aware of my shortcomings. That is, until Jesus set me free.
Perceiving Our Shortcomings
When God called Moses to lead His people from Egypt, he made excuses. In Exodus 3:11, Moses asked, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Moses felt inadequate for the task for several other reasons: age; past failures—killing an Egyptian guard; a speech impediment. Even though Moses was leader material and highly self-educated in Pharoah’s palace, he didn’t feel qualified for the job.
But God didn’t accept his excuses, pointing out all the reasons why Moses was perfect for this task. Moses didn’t have to be perfect. He just had to obey God.
God Doesn’t Seek Perfection, Just Obedience
We can strive to be perfect, but we’ll never be without flaws. We’re sinners saved by grace. Accepting God’s gift of forgiveness leads to freedom—freedom from self-doubt and condemnation.
When I learned more about the young woman above, I understood why she felt unworthy of the free household goods she’d returned. Her background included past drug abuse and time in prison. However, she had yet to understand that although she’d been freed from a physical prison, she was still in a prison of regret holding her back from real freedom.
We are all unworthy of God’s grace and love. He doesn’t love us because we’re good. He loves us because He is good. We can, however, approach His throne of grace, not based on our own worth, but because of the worthiness of His Son, Jesus Christ.