One of the biggest reasons I never wanted to stand on a platform in front of the group is the overwhelming feeling that they will eventually find out something about me that brings shame to my Father in heaven. I’ll stand before the world disqualified by my sins, my weaknesses, my failings, and even my mistakes. I’ll be embarrassing to my family and friends, and I’ll even be embarrassing to God. But then, I realized, I’m already disqualified.
You see, I have sinned. I have failed. I have hurt people. I have been thoughtless. I have been deliberately cruel. I have made the same rude mistakes over and over again. I still tend to forget to say hi to people, and I rarely say goodbye. I don’t offer to help folks when there’s a meal to cook or a mess to clean. I am not careful with my words. Actually, I try to be, but I speak so many of them that the wrong ones often slip out in spite of my best efforts. I am disqualified.
I run from the opportunity to serve others in ways that I know I’m not gifted to do well. I sometimes even run from opportunities that I know I’m good at. Like childcare. In the past, it was my whole life, a calling I felt deep into my bones. But one day, I realized that I’d reached my end. I could not do it another day. The comments of people who weren’t willing to serve had gotten to me. They had so many inspiring pieces of input about how I could have been a better teacher, how I might organize the classroom better, what I should do, and I reached my limit. I have an aversion to being put down. I can take it for a long time. But when I’ve had enough, it’s over. I’m unwilling to turn the other cheek about that thing anymore. I just stop. I’m disqualified.
I’m a really messy housekeeper. In fact, a housekeeper sweeps her kitchen when it looks dusty, and she mops it when it gets dirty. She folds and puts away laundry, or at least washes it and makes it all look as if it’s been put away. She vacuums her rugs. Or she gets the kids to do all of these chores. I’ve never been good at getting the kids to clean, and I’m terrible at keeping up with all of these tasks. In short, I’m a messie. I’m disqualified.
I keep looking around me, and I can see glaring faults in other people. The same faults I have. Different ones. Why doesn’t everyone else see them and pick these people apart until they stop just like I did? Why do they get a free pass? That’s an awful thought. Do I really want anyone else to go through the shame and grief that I’ve experienced? What kind of jerk am I? I’m disqualified.
I have recurring sin in my life. Yes, I know that we are constantly told from the pulpit that we can sin as long as we don’t keep going back to it, but I do. I keep eating food that makes me sick, I keep overeating, and I keep saying rude and cruel things. I never seem able to shake this tendency off. I can’t seem to free myself from it. This recurring sin feels like a permanent stain seeping through my flesh, into my bones, and spreading through every part of me. As it does this, I scream inside, “I’m disqualified!”
Who’s going to want to listen to someone who has such great ideas and thoughts, but who practices so many wrong things in her personal life? Who’s going to want to listen to parenting advice from someone who can’t get her kids to clean up the house? Who needs to hear advice about living for God from someone who can’t even stop sneaking chocolate? Who needs a message from someone so obviously disqualified?
Believe it or not, even though he’s not my candidate, Donald Trump gives me hope. He’s so fundamentally flawed. Absolutely wrong. Laced with deception, thoughtlessness, and even cruelty. But he’s being used. He never stopped to question whether or not he could be useful. He got to work becoming useful. I don’t like the guy, but he’s not hiding. His entire resume screams, “Disqualified” to me, and yet he doesn’t let anyone deter him from his goal.
I’m washed by the cleansing flood. I’m made new. I’m redeemed, bought with a price. I’m saved, delivered, and healed. I’m going to walk in that now. Maybe I am disqualified in the eyes of many people, but there’s someone out there who could benefit from my message. They could receive a blessing from what I’ve got to say. Maybe I’ll title my first platform message “Disqualified.” It has a nice ring to it, right?