Ever look around and see someone who seems to be doing better, experiencing more peace and joy, earning more . . . someone who always seems to be getting the right breaks, is making a bigger impact for Christ, finds more favor with God, and on and on? In a word, they seem like “super saints.” Or maybe you think you have seen this person staring back at you in the mirror?
I have news for you. There are no super saints! Never have been . . . never will be.
As a founding pastor of a church plant that Jesus is currently building, it’s all too easy for me to take my eyes off Jesus and put them on myself and think that I am more than I am. In those moments, I am so thankful that God has given me a partner in ministry—my beloved wife, Kim—who reminds me I am no super saint—and that the church we serve is Christ’s church, not mine! What a precious gift from God—to have a wife who is not afraid to kindly but firmly tell her husband like it is . . . over and over and over again!
Evangelist D. L. Moody once quipped, “I’ve had more trouble with D. L. Moody than with any other man I’ve ever known.” Thomas à Kempis advised, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish yourself to be.” When G. K. Chesterton was asked what was wrong with the world, he promptly responded, “I am!” Honesty is truly the best policy, especially when it comes to being honest with ourselves! When we acknowledge our true condition—great sinners in need of an even greater Savior—we begin to approach the place where we can be used by God.
Regardless of what we are doing for God, we are only doing it because He has given us the strength to do it. Our next breath is a gift from God. Our next heartbeat is a gift from God. Our next step in the direction of advancing our service to our Savior is a gift from God. Daniel testified that “God . . . holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways” (Daniel 5:23 NKJV). Everything is a gift from God, and when we understand this truth, we see ourselves for what we truly are: weak, utterly dependent creatures. We join David in his cry, “Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy (Psalm 86:1). Make no mistake, the ground is always level at the foot of the cross . . . and that means there are no super saints!
Keeping this truth before you at all times will do two things. First, if people may regard you as some sort of super saint because of your character and service before God, receive the compliment with all humility—even with a measure of fear, for “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise he receives” (Proverbs 27:21). Give all the glory to God!
Second, if you are quite sure that no one regards you as a super saint, perhaps because of your lack of ministry and service to God, remember that you are just as valuable to God and needed by God as everyone else! You don’t believe me? Answer this question: How many extra Christians has God made? The answer, of course, is none. “For we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). You are a vital member of the body of Christ. Pouring all your gifts, talents, and abilities into the service of your Lord will cause all the boats in the harbor rise; refusing to do so diminishes us all.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
So . . . since there are no super saints in the service of our Savior, what are you waiting for? God never calls you to do something without equipping you to get it done. You have the greatest reason and motivation in the world to do all God is calling you to do: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). You are free to simply put in what you have—all that you have—and leave the results to God.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!