In the Bible, God spoke through prophets, and He spoke through a donkey. He spoke through Apostles, and he even spoke through Pharisees (religious leaders).
One does not need to be perfect or holy to be used by God. Take a look some time at chapters 9 through 11 of the Gospel of Luke. First you’ll find Jesus sending out his 12 disciples, giving them authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse people with leprosy. And guess what? They do it!
Nevertheless, in the next several paragraphs we find Jesus rebuking those same disciples several times. In one case He points out their lack of faith. Then they start arguing over who will be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Then they start getting exclusivistic and forbidding other people to cast out demons in the name of Jesus. And worst of all, they revealed their murderous thoughts by asking Jesus if they should “call down fire” on a villiage who didn’t welcome them. That’s all in Chapter 9.
At this point, one might think Jesus would learn His lesson and think twice about the calibre of people he’s sending out to represent Him. But guess what? As soon as Chapter 10 starts, He sends out 72 of them! Sure enough, they work miracles too! And then guess what happens? At the start of Chapter 11, one of them asks, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They weren’t even confident in their prayer lives yet!
Now why do I bring all this up? Well there are two reasons. First, it means you have no excuses if you’re not being used by God on some level. Second, it means that even if you are being used by God, that doesn’t prove that you’re perfect!
It’s so common for us to see people in ministry who have flaws in the integrity department. Whether it’s child-molestation, immorality, or a $20,000 toilet, the principle is still the same.
Unfortunately, what we often do as a culture is equate their teachings and ministry with their integrity. In our minds, if the teachings are good, we assume that the teacher is also good and pure. Likewise, if the person is flawed, it must mean their message and methods are flawed too.
But who apart from Christ Himself is without flaws? The whole Bible was written by people with flaws! Whether you like it or not, many of those pages were penned by murderers, adulterers, and liars.
We’ve got our perspective backwards. If someone has flaws, it doesn’t mean their message is necessarily flawed. Rather it merely proves the message of the Bible: that God uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. He uses the humble–not the perfect. He uses the willing–not the immaculate. I only say that because apart from Christ, no one is perfect or immaculate.
The key here is simply that we must be humble, obedient, willing, and faithful; and God will be able to use us well. But don’t let ministry become a mask behind which you hide your flaws. Power does not equal perfection, and it should not be treated as such. Rather, confess openly and remain transparent before God and man. Allow God to transform you inwardly. Let people know that you’re real and not manufactured. Nobody likes a plastic smile. Continuously seek the transformational power of God and not just the demonstrative power of God. Stay humble, and don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought.