Monday, June 18, 2012

"Greatness" and Criticism

Guest Post from Tim Dunn

A couple of months ago I had the chance to meet Bill Kazmaier.  Bill is one of the most well known powerlifters in the world, and is a three time World’s Strongest Man champion.  He is also a man of faith.  He told me about Jesus saving him, and a request he made to God.  He said “if you will make me the best at what I do, I will go around the world giving you (God) credit for everything I accomplish.”

I thought about his request (or negotiation) with God, and began to think about the areas of my life I would like to be great.  Bill’s courage to ask something so boldly convicted me.  He asked to be the best, not great, and not just good.  As I thought, one of the areas that came to my mind was preaching.  I love to study and preach.  I want to be the best preacher I am capable of being.  I don’t care to be “christian famous”, but I do care to be as effective as possible.  So I began to pray that God would make me a great preacher.

I promptly taught one of the worst messages I have given in recent memory.  My coach gave me a pretty brutal review, and I got a bunch of emails, some communicating God’s use of the teaching, and others offering criticism.  It was good…and humbling

If I am honest I would have to admit things stuck to me a bit more than normal.  I have learned to preach the Gospel to myself, and take the bones out of the meat of criticism.  This time it stuck to me longer, at least until this morning.  As I spent some time with God I realized something that I think is true of many of us.  We want to be great at something…but we want it to come as easily as possible.  Little work, less criticism and no discouragement.  We ask God for something and assume the means will be to our liking.

It very rarely happens this way.  It is the grace of God to answer our prayer, and the grace of God in choosing the means that most effectively bring His will to bear in our hearts.

No comments: