Peter, Don’t Try to Be Paul

Have you ever read a passage that was written by the apostle Paul and thought, “That’s too hard for me to understand”? My guess is that most of us have been there. Even the apostle Peter sometimes had trouble with the depths of Paul’s intellect. Don’t believe me? Check out Peter’s words from 2 Peter 3:14-16:

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation – as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures. (N.K.J.V., emphasis mine)

Notice please that even though Peter readily admitted that some of Paul’s writings were hard to understand, he also praised those writings. Despite the fact that Peter was an unlearned fisherman and Paul was a scholarly theologian, there was no rivalry between the two. Each man sincerely appreciated the other one’s ministry.

You see, the world needs what both Peter and Paul have to offer. A Peter can reach people that a Paul can’t, just as a Paul can reach people that a Peter can’t. Since God doesn’t use a cookie-cutter when He creates people, we should never confine ministry to one particular type of Christian. That’s why I can report with such confidence that if you are a Christian and you are breathing, God can use you in His service.

It’s been said that when a preacher tries to imitate another preacher, the pulpit stands empty. For one thing, the preacher being imitated isn’t there because no matter how close the mimicking is, no man can perfectly duplicate another. And then for another thing, the man who is actually standing in the pulpit isn’t truly there because he has forfeited his individuality by trying to be someone else.

Never forget, Christian, that individuality is a good thing. My spiritual gifts and talents aren’t yours, and yours aren’t mine, but the Lord knows how to use them all in His service. So, just be yourself when it comes to serving Christ and trust that how He has gifted you and talented you will be more than enough for you to get the job done.

This entry was posted in Doing Good, God's Work, Individuality, Ministry, Preaching, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Talents and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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