My Letter of Recommendation
by Andrea Griffith

May 26, 2022

Pastors' Wives

My Letter of Recommendation

By Andrea Griffith

May 26, 2022

As a pastor’s wife, I felt insufficient for the ministry God had called me to. As our church plant began to grow and the numbers began to increase, I felt like I had to know everyone, reach everyone and keep up with all of their stories. I was getting texts and emails asking me for everything from my view on eschatology to addresses in the church database.

On Sunday mornings I would be told where the trash can should be placed in the women’s restroom and then through tears told of adult children’s addictions. Often, I was one of the first to hear about the cancer prognosis, eating disorders, infertility, children who were walking away from the faith, or infidelity within a marriage.

I deeply felt the insufficiency. If you are in ministry, you probably are well acquainted with more needs that you have the bandwidth for. If you are there, know you are in good company. I think the apostle Paul must have felt it too.

In 2 Corinthians 3, people have apparently been asking Paul for references that prove he is worthy to come and speak to their church again. They are saying this to the apostle Paul who founded the church in Corinth! This church is asking him for letters of recommendation or references about who he is and why he should be able to come and speak to them. Paul answers by saying, You are my letter of recommendation. Your lives have been changed through the gospel and I had the privilege of being the delivery person. The Spirit of God is writing each and every story, and I was happy to be the delivery person walking beside you.

As the Corinthian church asks what credentials can you show us about who you are, Paul may have wondered, what makes does make me competent to minister? His answer is found in verses 4-6, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant.”

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Paul is telling us that our confidence cannot be tied to our relationships with others; those are always in flux. Our confidence cannot rest in our definition of success, or the results we are hoping to see. We cannot place our confidence in people’s responses to us, or in our appearance, or our own abilities or inabilities.

The human heart longs for sufficiency in so many things: our health, security, relationships, results at work, and in ministry. The reality is there will always be a gap between my insufficiency and the sufficiency I long for until I rest in what Jesus has supplied.

Our sufficiency is supplied through Jesus’s finished work on the cross—Jesus lived out my perfection as He sinlessly walked this earth for 33 years. On the cross, He took all of my sin and frailty on Himself and gifted me with His perfect righteousness. He has made me a daughter of the King; He has given me a new heart and desire to now be an ambassador for Him; He has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant.

The battle is not over for me. I feel the insufficiency every time before I get up to speak, or lead a devotion, or answer that text or email. The haunting question of “who am I to serve in this way?” or “Do I have what it takes to serve the people around me?” is with me every day.

If you can relate, let’s re-believe the gospel. We are not sufficient in and of ourselves but Jesus has provided all we need for life and godliness. If you are a child of God, you have all the sufficiency you need. God has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection.

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