The following post was written by Shana Howard, Small Group Pastor of Church 212 in Palm Desert, Ca.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short: You Were Made For Greatness
One day, I was reading a book at my community pool. Close by in the Jacuzzi, were two guys talking. These men were strangers and had struck up a conversation. They were talking so loud I could hear every word. But trying to read, I attempted to tune them out.
However, due to their volume and subject matter, I was unable. Their discussion was about how they could use women for their own sexual gratification.
The older man (in his 60’s) was sharing with the younger guy (in his 40’s) how he was getting a bride from another country, set up in an apartment, so he could use her sexually however he wanted. He was telling his new friend how he should do the same—that he doesn’t even need to marry her, just string her along and hide her away somewhere.
The younger engaged the conversation. It got more graphic as more women were discussed with more ways to get away with “using them.”
My next move
As you can imagine being a woman, I was aghast. I was so uncomfortable sitting there and wasn’t sure what to do. Honestly, I was disgusted at their conversation and wanted to chew them out on behalf of all women but decided to mind my own business.
As I’m not one to confront strangers, I packed up to leave. Until, of course, the Holy Spirit compelled me to address the situation.
Tweet: “Nothing changes if Christians don’t say anything. You are the light to darkness.” – Shana Howard
Gulp. I didn’t want to actually confront these guys. I was nervous.
But then God flooded me with love and compassion for these men. He gave me exactly what to talk to them about and I loved what God had to say. He wanted me to tell them they were made for greatness. God didn’t want me to chew them out, he wanted me to call them out and into where their lives would be fulfilled and meaningful. He didn’t want me to say what they couldn’t do, but rather share with them what they could do.
So I nervously approached and interrupted their conversation. With conviction and compassion, I said something like, “I couldn’t help but overhear you talking. You were made for more than using these women…”
The older guy interrupts me and tells me to mind my own business. But I continue with passion and tenderness, “You were made for greatness. You were made to honor women and protect them. You were made for so much more than you are giving yourself.”
The older man scoffed while the younger man apologized for offending me. I continued sharing with them God had great plans to do through them. Great things.
Protecting the weak and defenseless
These choices were preventing them from experiencing true greatness by God’s hand. I reminded them as men, they were designed to protect the weak and defenseless. They were to be men like they saw in the movie’s Braveheart and Gladiator; men of purpose, heroic and great. The older man continued to scoff but the younger man waved him off and said, “I need to hear this.”
So I reiterated what I was saying making sure to use the phrase God had given me to say to them, “You were made for greatness.” The younger guy thanked me and the older man apologized for his inappropriate use of language in front of me.
I was witnessing this scripture come to life in that moment, “The kindness of God leads man to repentance” (Romans 2:4). I don’t remember my parting words, but I left those two men praying in my mind, “God press those words deep in their heart, “You were made for greatness.”
Bring them to remembrance when they go to do things in darkness. Give them hope there is another way to live. Reveal your Son Jesus to them. Help them to become men you desire.
Men that honor, protect and glorify you.”
I share this story with you guys to remind you, “YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS.” God wants to do great things in you and through you.
I have no idea what might be hindering you from having all that God has planned for you but I pray as you read this, He speaks to you–that the Holy Spirit calls you out and into a better life of purpose.
Whether you feel complacent or unworthy because of past choices or deeds of darkness, KNOW THIS: there is a God of Hope. He wants to strengthen you to live for His glory. Call upon the name of the Lord and He will help.
Brothers, I am cheering you on. Rise up! Take hold of the great position God has given you. Be a man! Battle for good! Go for it! Enjoy your New Year!
Your sister in Christ,
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