“But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation” – 2 CORINTHIANS 1:6
What do you have that could be of benefit to others?
That’s the question you may ask yourself every time you go exploring through your attic or garage. You realize how much you tend to keep and accumulate, even when your need for these items has long subsided. Often the stuff you find crammed deep into your closets isn’t even worthy of charitable donation. It’s just junk, better thrown out with the garbage.
But when it comes to the junk in your own personal life—the mistakes you’ve made, the poor judgment you’ve exercised, the hurt you’ve caused each other—God may have a purpose for it even still. Over the years, I’ve challenged many couples to step forward as mentors. But they have their own reservations and excuses. Many feel they just aren’t qualified. They say they have nothing to share with younger adults. They don’t think they know the Bible well enough.
Many of them are simply haunted by their own mistakes—their own junk. They don’t realize that those mistakes may be among the most valuable tools they possess in teaching a younger couple about how to grow a marriage and family God’s way.
Everyone struggles with marriage and family issues. Everyone. That’s why the core curriculum for learning how to minister to other couples includes the textbook of true-life experience. Weakness and disappointment provide some of our best resources for sharing life messages with others. They provide both content and context to our instruction.
You see, it’s not junk if somebody else can use it. The only way it becomes a waste is if we’re afraid to admit we’ve still got it, if we’re unwilling to let God use our garbage for His glory.