Thriving Devotional - July 2, 2020

Me and my mouth.

Studies regularly show that for a great many people, public speaking is their greatest fear. For some, death would be preferable to the horror of a public speaking engagement. (What is not mentioned in most studies is the accompanying nightmare of realizing you are also standing in front of a crowd in your underwear.)

Moses fourth objection to God’s command is that he doesn’t have the skills for the task – and in particular that he is not a good speaker (Exodus 4:10). (It’s ironic that, at least in the biblical account, he says this quite eloquently.)

If in the third excuse Moses starts in on the “what ifs,” now he begins playing the comparison game. Surely there are people who are far better with their words, and who think faster on their feet, than him. Probably a better vocabulary, too. Moses probably has a short list he could provide. To quote Steve Martin, "Some people have a way with words; some people no have way."

Not only are we aware of our shortcomings, we’re even more aware of those who are better. There’s always someone smarter, prettier, hotter, cooler, more successful, more athletic, more popular, richer, luckier…the list is endless. It can be paralyzing.

God’s answer, once again, doesn’t feed our self-obsession. While Moses says I have a problem with my mouth, God says, “I made your mouth!” (4:11) God is well aware of our strengths and weakness, but God doesn’t see these realities as assets or liabilities. He doesn’t choose or call people because of what they bring to the table, but because of their availability.

2 Chronicles 16:9 reads, “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him” (The Message). God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Moses is promised that the pressure is off; God will teach him what to say. Probably better that way...

Remember, God is not surprised or disappointed in your short suits. He knows you. He made you. He can work through you. He knows what he’s doing.

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