Equipped for Eloquence
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My speech problem began when I was 4 years old and, at 28, I’m still learning to accept it. Although words remain intact in my mind, they tend to twist and turn the moment syllables emerge from my lips. There are times when my voice flows naturally, unexpectedly. While other times, I choke on words so forcefully that my eyes close and my head throbs. Despite much therapy, nothing seems to tackle this hereditary ailment. In a strange way, my distorted language brings me closer to God. Even though stuttering can be quite cumbersome, it keeps me humble and fully reliant upon the One who made me just as I am. But how I can share the Gospel with others if I’m too nervous to go through a drive-thru? That’s why I find hope in Paul’s message to the people of Corinth. I believe this same man who had a thorn in his flesh knows what I’m talking about (or trying to). In 1 Corinthians 1:5-9, the apostle says:
“Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. … Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end. … God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Our weaknesses are not meant to pull us back, but push us forward. Jesus knew as much as anyone about suffering when He died upon the cross. If anyone understands, He does. And because we are partners with Him, we don’t have to share the Good News alone.
In 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, Paul continues:
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. … And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. … As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus.”
All of us are born with a feature we’d rather not possess, yet God calls us despite our lack of confidence. Though we may feel powerless against our inadequacies, God has equipped us in every way to advance His kingdom. Satan will try to thwart our purpose by telling us to cover up our flaws. But God wants us to embrace them. Since we’re united in Christ, we have everything we need to make His love known to others. Therefore, let us view our shortcomings with humility, so when we come out victorious, we can say it was all because of Him.
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, help us to embrace all that You made us to be. Despite our weaknesses, let us draw on Your strength and remind others to do the same. Give us the grace to turn every obstacle into an opportunity to glorify You. In Your perfect name, amen.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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