My first post on Coast Community’s blog is a little introduction to myself. My name is Holly Bailey and I have just started interning at Coast Community Church of the Nazarene. I’m also wrapping up my second year at UC Santa Barbara as an undergraduate studying Religious Studies and English.
Writing for the church blog seems like a perfect mesh of the two disciplines, then, right?
Wrong. At least according to the lies from the Enemy.
As I was making a list of ideas for blog posts, I didn’t hit a roadblock, per say. I was eagerly bursting with more ideas than I could take notes for in one sitting. Instead, I felt like a driver steering through an empty highway, while facing bombardment from an array of distracting billboard signs.
Negative thoughts would come in – that I am too young to be taken seriously by anyone who reads this, that there are so many other qualified people who have more to offer – and these billboard-sized doubts were distracting my eyes from the road.
Instead of focusing on the paved path, I was left gazing at these huge signs cheaply pegged into the periphery, banners that would run me off the road altogether if I stayed mesmerized by them for too long.
Christ himself is the road we as Christians find safety in as we travel through life, but we are far from immune to the eye-catching false advertisements – lies marketed as plausible – we find erected on the side, vying for attention all along our spiritual journey.
Upon allowing myself to entertain these negative distractions, it suddenly didn’t matter that I have been part of this church my entire life, or that I have plenty of writing experience. I still didn’t see myself as good enough. But is it those things that really qualify me to represent the church through writing, anyway?
In 2 Corinthians 3:5, Paul writes “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”
If we don’t seek recognition from God first and foremost, then even our “official” seeming qualifications will be wide open to attacks of inadequacy and doubt, especially during times of change when we are most vulnerable.
Our sufficiency is from God. Paul couldn’t be more straight forward about this. We aren’t even remotely good enough by our own achievements alone, contrary to what the world constantly tells us. It is from this realization, once genuinely absorbed and understood, that faith truly takes off and soars.