Thinking Out Loud

August 26, 2012

Deconstructing Past Platitudes

So for those of you who grew up in church, did you ever hear this one:

God doesn’t want your ability, just your availability.

Familiar?  I’ve always believe this and even taught this principle to others; the idea that what God requires is your surrendered heart more than any unique gift set you might possess. And there is some truth to the idea that too many people think they are “God’s gift to God” because they have unique abilities. 

But generally, we classify what we can “bring” to God in three areas:

  • time
  • talents
  • treasure

and since “availability” is a sub-set of time, we’re saying that one of these is more important than another.  But what if someone is a rich young ruler who finds it hard to give up wealth? We might say,

God doesn’t want your hours of community service, just your wealth.

Wow! That was awkward. But is it any more awkward than the first one? What if someone is a professional and is accustomed to charging for their services and someone suggests that

God doesn’t want your money, he wants you to volunteer your services.

That could really bite. But it’s true that some people want to “buy” their way out of surrendering their time or talents. For some people, the easiest way to meet a need is with a cash, check, or credit card donation.

So what’s the solution?

The fact of the matter is God doesn’t want/need any of those “t” things listed above. He is concerned about who you are and are becoming. He wants you to be his friend. He wants to commune with you, spend time with you; and wants you to want to commune with Him and spend time with Him.

God doesn’t want your ability or your availability, He wants you.



  1. God wants ME – the whole me. Incredulous, but true. He wants ME and He purchased me at enormous cost, and continues to work in me.
    What a truly amazing God!

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — August 26, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

  2. Hey Paul: My idea of God and what “He wants” may be different, but your logic here is astoundingly right on. Since I view God as my Creator and very difficult to reach except through myself, I treat this relationship as I would any other relationship. I have “Conversations with God” (Great Books) that help me to do what I was created to do and be what I was created to be. God does not need me to be anything. He is and I am.

    Comment by lumbylad — August 27, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

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