God loves to use imperfect people in his service. This is a theme all through the Bible. From Moses, who couldn’t speak well, to Gideon, the youngest child of an insignificant clan, through to Peter the fisherman who had temper issues. God so often uses those who are clearly imperfect so that his grace shines through.
I have had the privilege of leading a group of people from my church on a whirlwind tour of church history in recent weeks. There was something great about seeing so many great themes and issues that God’s people had faced throughout the centuries. One thing that struck me was the way that God used some forceful yet imperfect people in significant ways, including:
- Martin Luther: a man who didn’t cave in when facing extreme opposition, but who stood up for what he believed. He was often quite rude to those with whom he disagreed and made some pretty awful statements about peasants and Jews in his later years. Luther was the right man at the right time, though his imperfections were evident for everyone to see.
- William Farel: when a young John Calvin wished to retreat into the quiet of a scholarly writing life, the fiery preacher Farel convicted him. When Calvin expressed that he didn’t think he was a suitable person to pastor the church in Geneva, Farel reportedly said: “May God curse you and your studies if you do not join me here in the work He has called you to!” Calvin agreed. Wouldn’t you?