There are few things worse for a people-pleaser and perfectionist than feeling ill-equipped and unprepared. I’ve felt both of those things plenty of times in my life. When I started my current job I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was brand new to me – the computer program, the industry itself, the people and environment, the actual work – I knew nothing about it at all. My first week or so was tons of training and long hours as I learned the new skills and tasks I needed to know. I wondered how anyone could do this job in an eight hour workday. I worried that I wouldn’t catch on or learn what I needed to learn.
It took some time, but within three months I was catching on. It actually was kind of exciting, doing something so new and different than what I ever thought I would do. I was learning new things every day, getting to know new people, and realizing that I could actually do this new job. When I started the job I was completely unprepared and not at all equipped. But I learned and grew in the skills and became equipped. Each day became a little easier. Each day presented new challenges.
Do you ever feel ill-equipped or unprepared for the things God is asking you to do? Maybe there’s a coworker who needs to hear about Jesus but you never know what to say. Maybe it’s a roommate who needs to hear your words of repentance or forgiveness. Your spouse is in a challenging situation and you’re not sure how to be supportive – or if you even want to be. Maybe you feel God tugging at your heart for something that you know nothing about and wouldn’t know at all how to begin the daunting task. What do we do in these situations?
We can start with prayer and going back to God’s Word. 2 Timothy reminds us what God’s Word is for – teaching, reproof, correcting and training in righteousness. God teaches us how to live when we read His Word. He shows us where our sin has taken over our lives and, what’s more, shows us how He corrected it through Jesus. His Word shows us the way back when we get turned around. God trains us, as His children, for lives lived out for His purposes.
Why does God do this? Of course, because He loves us. But He also knows that on our own we are completely unprepared and ill-equipped for the work He has for us to do. All of the teaching, reproof, correcting and training is so we can become ready to do the work He has prepared for us. God doesn’t just throw us in to these tasks without preparing us. He speaks to us through His Word, teaches us what to do, reminds us of His grace when we mess it up, and walks with us as we carry out the great work He has for each of us.
Even with all this God-training, we still may feel like we can’t do what He’s asking us to do. I think that’s a great time to cover the situation in prayer. Ask God to help you be prepared, be willing, and be ready. He will hear, He will answer, and He’ll be right beside you every step of the way.