Many of us have something in our past that we feel would disqualify us from being used by God for His kingdom. We feel ashamed of that thing, especially if other people know about it.
Others have physical challenges that make them feel unqualified for the job description that God hands them.
Are you in either of these two camps? Ashamed or challenged? I have good news. God uses imperfect people with all their flaws. I am one of them. You can be too if you are part of God’s family.
God used imperfect people in the Bible
What imperfect people did God use in the Bible? You might be surprised.
The Bible has many stories of people flawed to the core yet used by God. It’s a good thing. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be hope for any of us.
Here is a partial list of sinners that God used in the Bible.
- A crazy man that people feared (1)
- A man who loved to kill Christians (2)
- A prostitute (3)
- A woman who was divorced 5 times (4)
- A man with speech and identity problems (5)
- A man who committed adultery and then killed her husband (6)
- Several demon-possessed women (7)
- A man who suffered from depression (8)
- A runaway (9)
- A dishonest and despised tax collector (10)
- A cocky teenager who was hated by his brothers (11)
- A poor widow (12)
- A blind man (13)
Is your situation worse than any of these? And who were these people? (see the references)
When Romans 8:28 says that God works all things for good, it is the truth.
Our past does not disqualify us from serving God.
God uses imperfect people because He loves them
Why God loves imperfect people is hard to understand. Why would a perfect God want to associate with us?
As human beings, most of us like to be around people who don’t rub us the wrong way. Yet Jesus chose to hang out with sinners. These were the people that rubbed most of the religious leaders the wrong way.
So what is the heart of God? Why does He love us?
- We were created in God’s image
- He recognizes that we are human and have a blind spot when it comes to much of life
- He has compassion for the circumstances that either we get ourselves into or that life hands us
How does God use our imperfections?
The answer to this question is hard for our human minds to wrap around. But let’s give it a try.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit using God’s word, we are transformed into God’s people, ready for a Kingdom purpose. We see it in the stories of God’s people both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. When that happens, it is all for God’s glory.
God uses imperfect people through the power of the Holy Spirit
When we are adopted into God’s family, the Spirit of God lives in us from that point forward. This gives us the power to live life for God’s glory.
God uses imperfect people through God’s word
The Bible is the main way that He speaks to us. The words that we read and think about are then used by the Holy Spirit to do a number of things:
- Cause us to be in awe of God’s grace and God’s work in our lives, resulting in worship
- Convict us of sin, resulting in a repentant heart
- Direct us, resulting in good works that help others see Jesus Christ in our actions
- Bring specific verses to mind, resulting in the ability to avoid temptation
- Create compassion in us for those who are hurting, resulting in our wanting to comfort them
God uses imperfect people by transforming them
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …” Romans 8:29, NIV
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
It is the word of God that transforms us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God uses imperfect people for a Kingdom purpose
What is God’s purpose for our life? We know He wants our thoughts and actions to be changed so we are a good representation of Jesus. But why?
We each are given gifts and talents to accomplish a Kingdom purpose. Jesus told us in the Book of Matthew what that purpose is.
“Therefore go and make disciples … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you … ” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
As a mom, we are teaching our children and that is the beginning of disciple-making.
As a friend, we can share how God is helping us follow God’s commands and in that, we are teaching others to do the same.
As an employee, we can influence co-workers and the boss by doing a good job.
There are endless ways that we can have a part in making disciples of those we come in contact with.
When God uses imperfect people, He gets the glory
We have nothing to offer God. Therefore, when He equips us and helps us accomplish a Kingdom purpose, He is the one who gets all the glory.
What type of person does God use?
Imperfect vessels, as God calls us in 2 Corinthians 4:7, are one of the prerequisites that we all meet.
But there is another qualification for a candidate to be a servant of God.
- Is it to be overly committed to religious activities?
- Or is it to spend long hours praying?
- Or maybe it is to do a lot of Bible study?
While all of those things are good, they can be done out of all the wrong motives. In Jesus’ day, those were the religious leaders. He called most of that group of people hypocrites.
The only kind of people that God is looking for are the “poor in spirit.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 NIV
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17 NIV
God is looking for those who have come to the end of their self-righteousness, and who realize they have no resources to offer God. They are totally “poor” when it comes to spiritual things. That is the type of person God will use.
If God uses imperfect people, where does it all begin?
God’s plan begins with a realization of our need for a Saviour. We are all imperfect people. We all have sinned and are or were separated from God.
When we embrace our need, our hope is found in Christ Jesus. He did what we can not do for ourselves. He made a way to restore our relationship with God. Do you know Jesus on a personal level?
If you don’t know Jesus you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can contact them any time of the day or night.
They have a website where you can chat with them from anywhere in the world. If you live in the United States, you can call or text them.
You might also like to read:
- You can read about this man in Matthew 8:28-34 and Mark 5:1-17. Jesus sent him back to his own people as a missionary.
- You can read Paul’s story in Acts 9:1-31.
- You can read Rahab’s story in Joshua Chapter 2.
- You can read this woman’s story in John Chapter 4. She was the 1st missionary to her own people.
- You can read about Moses in Exodus 3:1-4:17.
- You can read David’s story in 2 Samuel chapters 11 – 12.
- You can read their story in Luke 8:1-3.
- You can read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 17-19. He had great mountain-top experiences but in chapter 19 succumbed to depression.
- You can read Jonah’s story in the book named after him.
- You can read this man’s story in Matthew 9:9-12.
- You can read Joseph’s story as a teen in Genesis chapter 37.
- You can read her story in 1 Kings 17:7-16.
- You can read his story in John 9:1-25.