Religion column by Larry Bennett:
Have you ever thought that you just don’t fit in anywhere? Maybe you were like me and never felt like you belonged or fit in with any group. When I was in high school I was too “churchy” to run with the popular crowd and not smart enough to run with the intellectual crowd.
On top of all of that I was so shy and introverted as an adult that when asked by the Pastor to read the Sunday School report during the morning service I was so nervous I became nauseated. To even consider that I would one day stand behind a pulpit and preach was out of the question. I felt like a misfit.
Even as a conference leader and speaker, I have never had the support or endorsement of the larger churches, and popular pastors. I wasn’t denominational enough to be endorsed and promoted by the denominational leaders, and not radical enough to be drawn to the major independent church groups. I was even a misfit in my calling.
Yes, I am a misfit, yet I have had the wonderful privilege to preach, teach and counsel thousands of people on four continents. How can a misfit be used of the Lord? Somewhere along the way the Lord taught me a valuable lesson. He specializes in using misfits. He taught me that obedience, commitment to surrender, and brokenness is more important than popularity and acceptance.
This has always been God’s way, He uses misfits. The Scripture teaches us in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” (NLT)
From a biblical perspective, being a misfit doesn’t mean that we are unwise, reckless, and irresponsible. It means that we clearly understand that our worldview is not determined by the culture that we live in. We recognize that we are strangers and pilgrims in the world. The world system does not determine our belief system, our belief system is based on the absolutes of the Scripture.
Being a misfit also means that God uses those whose life has been filled with past failures. Peter was a prime example of someone who once walked with Jesus, and then later denied that he ever knew Jesus. He even quit the ministry and went back to fishing when Jesus was crucified. But Jesus still redeemed Peter and used him greatly in the kingdom. Weeks later he preached a five minute sermon and thousands came to Christ.
“It shouldn’t surprise us that God handpicks the foolish to confound the wise. Those that were rejected locally often are promoted by God globally for His glory. Being unqualified is greater than a degree from an Ivy League school. Graduate with God today because the Lord doesn’t call the qualified but qualifies the called.” (Frank Shelton, author Carrying Greatness)
If you are feeling that you just don’t fit, then be encouraged, you are in the best of company. God’s Hall of Fame is populated by unqualified misfits. He specializes in using and promoting those who feel the most unqualified.
When we come to Him and lay ourselves at His feet, acknowledging we have nothing to give or offer but ourselves, we then enter the realm of the qualified. By acknowledging that “apart from Him we can do nothing” we become an “eligible misfit” for Kingdom work. May this be our prayer:
“Dear Lord, I come to you as a misfit, and fully unqualified. I acknowledge that apart from you I can do nothing. I offer myself to you just as I am. Cleanse and change my heart so that I can be a reflection of the Christ who lives within me. Amen”