Spent last week laid flat by flu. Feeling fuzzy and tired today. But I’ve missed my keyboard, and missed our conversation.
Kate says: confident.
This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ, and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. This is so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens. This is according to His eternal purpose accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
– Ephesians 3:8-12 (CSB)
It’s no secret that I love Paul. I know; as a woman I’m supposed to at least be suspicious of him because of things he wrote about my gender and our role in the church, but if you read those passages in context (so important), you see that he was not a misogynist. Far from it. If he viewed women as “less than,” there would be no praise for Phoebe or Junia in his letters. He wouldn’t have bothered to instruct Euodia and Syntyche to get their conflict under control. He certainly wouldn’t have submitted to learning from Priscilla.
But I’m digressing here.
I love Paul because he didn’t put on airs. He was an Apostle, commissioned by God that fateful day. He had authority to tell people what to do. Yet he calls himself “the least of the saints.” This man, who I’ve always imagined to be on the shorter side and a bit too thin because he forgot to eat regularly, a man whose face reddened easily under both the influence of holy passion and hot temper, wrote some of the most eloquent, beautiful letters in history, not to promote himself, but to spread the Gospel message.
Of course he did so because he was moved by the Holy Spirit. Let us never forget the very human personality holding the pen, though. I think Paul wrote because he knew exactly who he was. In a way that few of us do, he looked himself full in the face. The least of the saints, the chief of sinners, the man consenting to murder.
Paul was not confident in himself.
He was confident in God, Who took the least, the chief, the murderer, and saved him.
Saved him from himself.
If we’re honest with ourselves, when it’s late at night and the house is quiet, when all we’re left with is the nagging sense that this is not how it’s supposed to be – self, that’s who we need saving from.
Jesus will do that for you.
You can be confident in that.