You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Used By God

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work."

2 Timothy 2:21 (ESV)

If you want to be used by God, you don’t have to be a perfect person—but you do need to purify your heart.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (ESV).

God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people and outgoing people. He uses people of different races, ages, stages of life, and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God will use plain vessels, and he’ll use ornate vessels. He’ll use big vessels and small vessels.

But there is one thing that God will not use: He will not use a dirty vessel. You have to be clean on the inside. But here’s the good news: No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you can be made clean.

How do you do that? How do you become pure? You do it through a simple word: confession. Augustine, a Christian leader who lived a few hundred years after Jesus, said, “The confession of bad works is the beginning of good works.” The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (GNT).

The word “confess” in Greek is the word homologeo. Homo means “same,” and logeo means “to speak.” So homologeo literally means “to speak the same” as God does about my sin. It means you agree with him: “God, you’re right. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a sin. It was wrong.” It doesn’t mean you bargain with God (“I’ll never do it again”). It doesn’t mean you bribe God (“I promise to read my Bible every day if you’ll forgive me”).

You just admit your sin.

That may seem too simple to you. You may say, “All I’ve got to do is admit it, and God will forgive me?” Yes! It’s called grace.

Here’s what you can do if you really want to be used by God: Take time this week to sit down with a notebook or journal and ask God, “What’s wrong in my life? Show me. I’m going to write it down, and I’m going to admit it. I’m going to confess it to you.” Then, when God gives you an idea, write it down.

The first time I did this, I thought I was going to write a book! And I’ve done this many times since. Make a list, and then write 1 John 1:9 over the list and say, “God, I admit these sins to you. These are wrong. I don’t want them in my life.” Ask God to cleanse your life. God will forgive you!

This is the starting point to being used by God. You must purify your heart.

Talk It Over

  • What is the difference between a mistake and a sin?
  • What’s the difference between perfection and purity?
  • What can you change in your schedule to make a regular time to write down your confession? What healthy habits will this help you establish?

There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus

The Bible says in John 3:18, “Those who believe in the Son are not judged” (GNT). Romans 8:1 says it like this: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT).

If you’re ready to accept that promise, stop fearing God’s judgment, and commit your life to Jesus, then pray this prayer:

“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, and I will learn the purpose of my life. Instead of judging me, you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.

“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are God, my Savior. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Thank you that I don’t have to earn salvation, deserve it, or work for it. It is your gift of grace.

Today I’m turning over every part of my life to you. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you, and I ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.