Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6
The foundation of verses 5-6 is found in verses 17-18. The humility and confidence it takes to say “I’m not competent in myself” (v5), is rooted in who the Spirit of the Lord is – who gives freedom. Paul seemed to be pretty confident in the grace work of the Spirit, who transforms us one day at a time.
2 Cor. 2:14 also supports Paul’s confident “incompetence in himself” thanking the Father who always leads us in triumph through Jesus- no matter what! The message of confident incompetence, exalts God – for our boast would not be in our performance, gifts, skill, knowledge…or anything of ourselves.
The New Covenant incompetence is knowing Jesus and who the Spirt of the Lord is. Knowing the Spirit and what He does in providing freedom and transformation.
So much of Christian leadership lessons involve an emphasis on “our ability, confidence and competence.” While there is truth in identifying our strengths, weaknesses, spiritual gifts and abilities…etc…I think Christians lean too heavily towards being self reliant and confident.
I’ve been criticized for over communicating “my incompetence.” My weaknesses, faults, failures are very real to me – and I feel that people can learn from my incompetencies.
It’s too easy to wear “competency masks” as if I’m well and have it together. To show and share weakness or confess incompetencies, can be looked down upon. In my many years of leadership, I’ve experienced the struggles of leaders/pastors who have a difficult time being real about their incompetencies.
The truth is, it is draining wearing the mask of confidence and competence. The double standards and hypocrisy pastors drift into is life threatening -and can lead to burn out…to fall out!
The Spirit is giving me life. A desire to be real, transparent, genuine confident in the Spirit of God who gives me freedom. He is transforming me into His image and makes me a competent minister…OF THE SPIRIT!
THANK YOU JESUS, SPIRIT OF GOD…! I know it’s about “me feeling good” but WOW, I feel good in You about being who You made me to be! I love feeling competent in and by the Spirit! Forgive me for the times that I put on “the masks” and I’m so grateful for Your great freedom! I LOVE YOU MEGA TONS!