Can vs. Can’t
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.”
-1 Timothy 1:6-8
Almost every week this summer, I have been working with junior high boys trying to help them improve their basketball skills. The range of ability between sixth and eighth graders is pretty wide, and their physical size can be an even bigger gap. But we have one boy, Max, who doesn’t let his size bother him at all. In every drill and scrimmage, he uses what the Lord has given him to the best of his ability and tries to improve. It is such a joy to watch him play because he wears out his opponents with his speed and quickness. As an athlete, Max refuses to let what he can’t do get in the way of what he can do.
The Apostle Paul was imprisoned many times throughout his life. But that didn’t stop him from spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul strongly encouraged the young man not to let his age or stature stand in the way of his ability to reach others for Christ. Paul understood a simple principle in spreading the gospel: wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, and whoever you’re with, it’s a great situation to share your faith. In prison or out, Paul always had a captive audience.
Though Max is about a foot shorter than many of the boys who work out with us, he uses his height to his advantage and works hard to do the things he knows he can do well. Max could easily say or think he is no good because of his size, but he is determined to become better each day by working with what God has given him.
How about you? Are you allowing what you can’t do to interfere with what you can do for Christ? So many times in our lives we make excuses for things we cannot do instead of being bold and pursuing success for the Lord. Next time you have the opportunity to share your faith, steal a pass, make an assist or pray with a friend, take full advantage of the circumstance knowing that God has given you the power and strength you need to do anything for Him.
1. In what areas of your life do you tend to let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do?
2. How do you need to be more bold for Christ?
3. Today, what will you do to become one day better in Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:31