Monday, August 9, 2010

The Way I Was Made

I just finished reading Chris Tomlin's book, "The Way I Was Made." It's one that I looked at, thumbed through, and then put back on the shelf many, many times, but never took the time to read. It is a quick read, but is so dense with truth that once I finally decided to give it a go, it took me 2 weeks to read it, as I would read a chapter, go back, re-read a page or two, think about it while I was driving or cleaning, and then go back and read some more.

There were several stories and challenges in this book that grabbed my heart, but this one far surpasses them all...

From the chapter, "Spirit Overflow"

One night before a concert, I got an interesting call from my friend Neil. In typical Neil fashion, he shot right past the pleasantries.

"Chris," he said in his raspy voice, "what would it look like if competence was not a fruit of the Spirit?"

That caught me off guard. I mentally reshuffled that well-known list of gifts in Galatians. Nope, no competence there.

"Neil, my friend," I said a little too proudly, "competence isn't a fruit of the Spirit."

Neil didn't even hesitate. "But we sure act and teach people like it is," he replied.

I've never forgotten that. I've always felt the pressure to have the right answer, to never be tired, to always be on -- platform ready. Can you relate? And yes, I desperately need the fruits of the Holy Spirit - "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control" (Galatians 5:22-23). But I think I'm one of those guys who, somewhere along the way, added "competence" to the list. And I think a lot of people in the audience can feel hindered for the same reason. They just don't feel good enough to worship God well.

The more I've lived with it, the more I believe Neil was right. You don't have to have it all together to be a worshiper of God. None of us do. Not one. By grace we all approach the throne of God. We live and breathe in the righteousness and mercy of Jesus.

I want everyone to know this truth.