Women's Devotional Bible - Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Humble Competence

2 Corinthians 3:4–18

You probably know someone who overestimates her competence. She might be a member of your Bible study who has a subtle way of telling others how to run their lives. Maybe it’s a coworker who takes control of everything around her.

On the other end of the scale are those (often women) who revel in false humility. They tell themselves and everyone else how incapable of anything they are.

In contrast, there are those who understand that their abilities are God-given. They realize that their talents are gifts, recognize their limitations and welcome others’ input. They don’t think of themselves as superior but consider others’ needs before their own. Being around these people frees others to be the best they can be.

True competence begins with humility, recognizing our natural abilities but acknowledging that they can only carry us so far. With that knowledge, we begin to realize that our incompetence is merely a starting point. We don’t have to be perfect; we have the freedom to be the uniquely gifted, talented and competent women God created.

Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International, wrote:

>“I’m probably the least likely person to head a mothering organization. I grew up in a broken home. My parents were divorced when I was 5. My older sister, younger brother, and I were raised by my alcoholic mother.

>“While my mother meant well—truly she did—most of my memories are of me mothering her rather than her mothering me. Alcohol altered her love, turning it into something that wasn’t love.

>“Ten years ago, when I was asked to consider leading MOPS International, a vital ministry that nurtures mothers, I went straight to my knees—and then to the therapist’s office. How could God use me—who had never been mothered—to nurture other mothers?

>“The answer came as I gazed into the eyes of other moms around me and saw their needs mirroring my own. God seemed to take my deficits and make them my offering.”

Reflection

  1. How have you found your natural abilities insufficient?
  2. How does knowing that you can rely on God’s competence give you confidence?
  3. What might you try to do for God’s kingdom if you knew you could not fail?

2 Corinthians 3:4–5
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Related Readings

Exodus 4:10–12; 2 Corinthians 12:7–10; James 1:16–18

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