You’re Not All Bad
“I have been crucified with Christ…” Thank God for that. Literally. Our hearts are deceptive, that’s a fact. And we’re born with a sinful nature. That’s a fact. We need a Savior. Another fact.
But sometimes we overlook something important. Inside us, there’s stuff God built in He wants to use. Good stuff. The sinful part He wants crucified, but other parts He wants amplified. He wants us to give them to Him, so He can use them to build the Kingdom and bring glory to His beautiful name.
Before Christ, I had pretty good relationship skills. I love people… always have. But back then, I loved them, so they’d help me get what I wanted. When I became a Christ-follower, I began to love people because I wanted them to find God and receive His love like I had. The selfish, manipulative motive needed to be “crucified with Christ,” but the relationship skills just needed to be re-purposed for His glory instead of mine.
Take for example an angry man. Anger comes from unmet demands… demands we put on ourselves, on others, and on God. God may have given our angry guy his ability to cast a vision and the talent to lead people toward it. God built that into him either at birth or along the way. What God wants to “crucify” is the anger… the part where he places his vision on his wife, his kids, his employees, or his small group, and makes it a demand. “Crucify” the demanding that leads to anger. But don’t throw away that ability to cast vision and lead.
My wife has an artistic bent. She loves beautiful fabrics, old wood and seeing how people use their God-given talents to create beautiful homes. Sometimes, she’ll feel guilty for spending time looking at books and websites (and Pinterest!). I remind her that God gave her that eye for beauty along with a passion to create a warm, loving home for our family. I don’t believe he wants that “crucified”… I think He wants it surrendered and then used in service to Him.
So how do I sort out what’s good in me… what to “amplify?”
Ask Him to do it for you. Right now.
“Lord, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You knew me before I was formed…before I took shape and before I cried in my mother’s arms. You’ve brought me through a family, a bunch of schools, churches, a series of jobs and work experiences, and a slew of relationships. I’ve read books, done lots of different things, and made a lot of mistakes. All this has made me who I am today.
I pause before you Lord. Show me what it is in me that you want to amplify. You know what I’m good at. Remind me now of those skills, abilities and passions you want to use. Give me the courage to embrace these good things you’ve built into me. And please invite me into opportunities where you can use these gifts to make a difference… for your glory and not my own.”
Question: What’s good in you? What have you ‘crucified’ that God may want ‘amplified?’