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Can God use mediocre?

Can God use mediocre?

Do you worry that you have to be exceptional to be used by God? That you have to have a special talent to be in ministry? Don't be fooled any longer by what you think qualifies you to serve God and others- he's given you everything you need!

I can carry a tune, but my voice is not solo worthy. I'm carrying extra pounds, have no hair style to speak of and my 17-year-old daughter knows more about makeup than I do. I can't look at three-fourths of what is on Pinterest and would never attempt most of those projects, meals, decorations, what-have-you.

Everything about me screams mediocre.

So many of the people in the Bible seem extraordinary. Samson had unbelievable strength. Esther was gorgeous. Abigail was intelligent and beautiful. David was ruddy and courageous. Daniel was handsome, wise and ethical. Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. The apostle Paul was like the energizer bunny; you could beat, stone, imprison and shipwreck him, and he'd get up and keep going.

It's easy to forget there were others, like Gideon from the smallest and weakest family. He had a hard time believing God really was calling him to kingdom work. I can relate to that. God used this unlikely hero to free the Israelites from slavery.

And praise God for Jonah. He was selfish and disobedient and unwilling, and God used him to turn a huge city to repentance.

And Peter, he was the disciple God chose for people like me. He was prone to putting his foot in his mouth and talking big. When push came to shove he waved his sword and hit the man's ear. That would be me: aim for the heart, hit the ear. Peter became a pillar of the early Christian church and went on to write two beautiful letters about Christian living.

And somewhere in eternity Moses is screaming, "God absolutely uses the mediocre. Trust me. I'm proof!"

God gives some people exceptional qualities. They are the Olympians and the NFL players and the musicians you go to see in concert. Their sphere of influence is gigantic. They give an interview and thousands of people listen.

Exceptional people can make porcupine cupcakes and have hair that is always just so. They keep their house clean and say things like, "Stop over any time," and mean it. (I'm thinking of Joanna Gaines.)

I did not get those qualities. I am average. Average people are the people in every church showing up, singing as well as they can, making sloppy joes for the potluck. They say things like, "You are more than welcome to come in, just let me move the laundry basket so you can sit down" and "If you walk in a zig-zag pattern you may be able to avoid the toys."

Still others are infirm or weak, maybe for a time, or for some, as a way of life. They may be unable to contribute in physical ways, but they are the broken vessels that God shines through. They remind us that God doesn't measure anything the way we do.

He loves each of us. He uses whatever we have.

Look at the twelve disciples. Four (Bartholomew, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and James son of Alphaeus) are only talked about to name them. Four others (Andrew, Philip, Matthew and Thomas) are only mentioned a few times. Two-thirds of the disciples fall into the average category in terms of earthly glory. If they did extraordinary things, God decided not to tell us about it.

God can and does use ordinary people. We don't have to be creative, funny or ultra talented. It's all God's doing anyway. He works through us to do whatever He calls us to do.

All we have to be is willing, and in love with the Lord, and ready to serve. In God's eyes that's extraordinary.

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 says:

"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."

That, my average, ordinary, mediocre friends, is good news.

Blessings,

Amber Albee Swenson

Amber Albee Swenson is the author of "Bible Moms Life Lessons from Mothers in the Bible" and "Ladies of Legacy." She has also authored two novels. You can find more encouragement from her <here>.

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