All of us are flawed people. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, but God gave humans free will, with the ability to make our own decisions.
And we don’t always make good decisions. In fact, some humans make terrible choices.
Even so, no one can be considered better than someone else, no matter what we may do. We may exhibit compassion and do wonderful things to help our fellow man, yet we have days when we fail, even with the best intentions. And we have all done things we shouldn’t have.
The Bible tells us that “we have all sinned.” We have fallen short of the glorious standard God set for humankind long ago. (Romans 3:23)
Many people today refuse to attend church, saying it is nothing but a place full of hypocrites: self-centered people who think they are better than others.
And that’s true.
Because church people are sinners too. They aren’t faultless and are acting imperfectly. No one is righteous and above anyone else. (Romans 3:10)
Thank goodness for Jesus! Even if you are not religious, you may know the basis of Christianity: that Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago – God became a perfect man who took on the sins of the entire world, present and future. He was pronounced guilty by man – yet He was innocent, taking the sin and blame for all of us upon Himself.
Becoming a Christian – someone who believes Jesus Christ died for their sins and accepts the gift of eternal life He offers (Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9) is washed of all sin. That person has renewed hope and an eternal future in heaven after they die. They become filled with the Holy Spirit, who becomes their Guide, and receive a peace and joy that only God can give. (Romans 15:13)
But the world is still a sinful place. And Christians are still not perfect. However, we are created by God, and because we believe in what Jesus did for us, we become qualified, even as very imperfect people, to do good works that God already planned for us to complete. (Ephesians 2:10)
Imperfect People Used by God
So how can Christians, who are still sinful people, be used by God?
God can use us because we are flawed people. A popular quote says, “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” No matter what has happened in our past, no matter how damaged or broken we think we may be, it is because of our imperfect stories that God will use us to help and bless others, yet always meet our needs. (2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:19)
Flawed People in the Bible
The Bible contains many stories of imperfect, damaged, and flawed human beings. And their life stories help and encourage us today.
If you have ever wondered what type of people God can use, look no further than these examples from the Bible:
From the Old Testament
Abraham was too old,
and his wife Sarah laughed and doubted God. (Genesis 18:11-12)
Jacob was a liar and a thief. (Genesis 27:1-37)
Joseph was trafficked and abused. (Genesis 37:18-36)
Moses stuttered and was too afraid to talk in public. (Exodus 4:10-13)
Rehab was a sex worker. (Joshua 2)
Gideon was anxious and unqualified. (Judges 6:11-23)
Samson was a trickster and womanizer. (Judges 14-15)
Naomi was a widow, and her daughter-in-law Ruth was a foreigner. (Ruth 1:22)
Abigail was in an abusive marriage. (1 Samuel 25:2-38)
David had an affair with Bathsheba, then murdered her husband (2 Samuel 11)
Elijah was depressed and suicidal. (1 Kings 19:2-4)
Nehemiah was exiled and at a dead-end job. (Nehemiah 1:11b)
Job lost everything and had a terrible skin disease. (Job 1-2:7)
Jeremiah said he was too young. (Jeremiah 1:6)
Jonah tried to run away from God. (Jonah 1:1-3)
From the New Testament
John the Baptist was eccentric, dressed in animal skins and ate bugs. (Matthew 3:4)
Mary Magdalene was once demon-possessed. (Luke 8:2)
Martha worried about everything. (Luke 10:38-42)
Zacchaeus was a short man with a bad reputation (Luke 19:1-7)
The Samaritan woman at the well was divorced 5 times. (John 4:17)
The disciples fell asleep while they were praying. (Luke 22:45-46)
Peter denied he knew Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-62)
Paul killed Christians (Acts 9:1-2)
And even Lazarus, though he was DEAD. (John 11)
While this list has appeared all over the internet,* it does not include one other person God used, even though he committed the ultimate betrayal: Judas. God put him where he was to fulfill His plan and purpose. Even if you are nonreligious, God can and probably has already used you to be a part of His plans. (Proverbs 19:21)
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Paul, who became one of the biggest advocates for Christ after his conversion, realized that regardless of his superb education, his determination to preach about Christ, and having his own infirmities, realized he couldn’t do anything with his own willpower. He admitted that only God’s strength and power can make things happen through Paul’s weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13)
The same goes for us. As a Christian, you become capable and qualified for whatever God may call you to do – if you allow Him to give you His vision, strength, and wisdom to accomplish it. (2 Peter 1:3)
Scripture references are from the New International Version and linked to BibleGateway for the reader’s convenience. *This list has appeared on the internet in many forms, but I have updated it to be more relevant today, along with adding Bible references.