Do you ever look around at other people and think, “I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough at that skill, at that calling. I shouldn’t even try.”
It’s a sad thing, but most of us have had that kind of thought at least once in our lives. And this can be especially hard in church. We all have different jobs to do, different assignments, and each time a new assignment comes our way, we cringe a little bit, thinking that surely someone else would be better, more willing, more spiritual, more qualified.
But the assignments come regardless. So if we’re so weak, unable, unqualified, or whatever, why does God keep asking us to do things for Him?
Maybe He knows us better than we know ourselves. Maybe He wants us to grow. Maybe we aren’t as bad as we think we are.
Whatever God’s reasons, we have plenty of our own reasons for protesting our callings from God. So let’s take a look at three of these reasons… and why they might not matter.
1. My Testimony Isn’t Strong Enough
Corianton was called as a missionary. It was his first time as a missionary, and he went with his dad (Alma), his brother (Shiblon), and a few other missionary superstars (Amulek, Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Zeezrom).
You’d think that having so many powerful missionaries with you would strengthen your testimony and make you a great missionary too. But Corianton struggled. He made mistakes. And the longer he was with the other missionaries, the more he wondered about his own testimony.
Corianton had a smart dad though, and after they returned home, Alma talked to each of his sons. When he spoke with Corianton, Alma talked to Corianton about his testimony. Alma explained doctrines and principles to Corianton to help clarify any gaps in his son’s testimony.
Alma also addressed Corianton’s need to repent, then finished his conversation with Corianton with these words:
31 And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words.Alma 42:31
It didn’t matter that Corianton didn’t have a 100% solid testimony. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t been a perfect, superstar missionary up to that point. It didn’t even matter that he had sinned.
Corianton was still called of God. God knew, and Alma knew, that Corianton had a lot to offer. He probably had some unique perspectives and experiences to share. Corianton had learned what it meant to repent, so he knew how to help others do the same.
Corianton could teach what he did believe even while he worked on the questions he had in his heart. He didn’t need to be an expert.
It can be easy to feel like you don’t know enough about the gospel, about Christ, about your own beliefs to be able to teach other people about those things. But we are all called by God to share our beliefs with others around us.
So maybe you can’t teach in the traditional way. Maybe you still have questions about what you believe. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified to share what you do believe (or even what you want to believe) with others.
Honestly, I think we all have times when we question our beliefs or think we don’t know enough, but we need someone to teach. We need each other’s strength. When we share our beliefs or experiences with other people, we often find that our own faith is strengthened. And hearing from others gives us comfort and assurance that it’s okay if we don’t feel good enough because we all feel like that.
And we actually are enough when we do God’s work. He’ll help us share and teach by the Spirit when we trust Him. And more will come from our efforts than we ever expect.
2. I’ve Messed Up Too Many Times
Another argument we use against accepting God’s callings is that we’re sinners. We sin all the time, and we can’t do what God has asked if we have all these sins in our lives. We just aren’t good enough Christians.
It sounds like a good point. People who have messed up a lot and are still messing up a lot shouldn’t be allowed to teach God’s words, right?
Here’s the problem with this argument: every single person on the planet is a sinner. Not just you. We have all messed up. A lot.
So, if we’re all sinners who aren’t good enough to teach God’s word, then, well, no one can teach the gospel. And no one can learn the gospel. And we’re all doomed after we die.
I think the real problem here is this perspective: “Christ’s Atonement really can help people repent – except me because I’m the actual worst.”
See, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is an infinite atonement, which means no one is excluded from using it unless they choose to be. Anyone and everyone can repent and be forgiven as long as they choose to turn to Christ.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Christ has covered it. You aren’t too far gone, and you never will be.
Take the apostle Peter for example. Peter wasn’t a perfect guy. There are a few examples in the New Testament that show this, but possibly the most well-known instance is when Peter denied Christ three times.
17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.
25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.John 18:17, 25-27
Peter literally claimed he didn’t know Jesus Christ after spending three years with Him. And still, even after denying Christ, Peter was forgiven. He still qualified to lead the church after Christ’s ascension, he still received revelation, and he still traveled as a missionary of Christ.
If Peter can come back from denying Christ, if he can repent of that, then you can repent of anything you’ve done as well. And, as long as you can repent, you can also qualify to be called of God.
3. I Just Don’t Have the Skills for This Calling
When God called Moses to free Israel from Egypt, Moses was not confident. First of all, he was a fugitive from Egypt, and couldn’t be sure of a warm welcome there. But he had other concerns as well:
10 ¶ And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.Exodus 4:10, King James Version
God was asking Moses to go to the Pharaoh and ask for the Israelite’s freedom, but Moses couldn’t do it. He knew that he couldn’t speak well. Maybe he got tongue-tied. Or he couldn’t think on his feet. He might have even stuttered. Whatever his struggle was, Moses couldn’t speak well in front of people.
So God asking him to go talk to a king was a big ask. At least, it was to Moses.
God, on the other hand, wasn’t so impressed with Moses’s problem. He told Moses:
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.Exodus 4:12, King James Version
When we are asked to do something that we don’t have the skills to do, I think God gives us a similar response: “Go and do what I asked you to do, and I’ll help you and teach you what you need.”
It’s something that requires a lot of faith and a lot of effort on our part. But it’s also 100% possible if we do what God asks us to do.
We might not have the skills we need when we start doing God’s will, but we can learn them. Humans are made to learn, grow, and progress. Accepting callings that stretch us and force us to learn can help us become the person God wants us to be – and who we want to be.
You Are Called
We all have different callings from God. And those callings can be very real challenges to us. But we have no reason to fear or feel inadequate when we do God’s work.
God knows exactly who He is working with. He knows you. And if God’s asking you to do something, then He thinks that you can do the job well. Will you need His help? Of course. But God doesn’t ask us to do anything entirely alone. He just asks us to do His will in the best way we can.
Be fair and kind to yourself. You aren’t perfect – and God doesn’t expect you to be. Perfection is not a job requirement when God asks for your service. Recognize your imperfections, but don’t let them hold you back. You can accomplish a lot with God in spite of your imperfections.