In these last sections of the book of Romans, we see Paul the man on display. He is a man who speaks boldly to God’s people in pursuit of his calling (15:14-16). He is a man who glories in his service to God – though he is careful to boast only in what Christ has done through him rather than anything that Paul has accomplished on his own (15:17-19). He is a man of ambition, who desires to take the gospel to places it has never been proclaimed (15:20-22). He is a man who makes plans, though he of course bows to the greater will of Christ (15:23-24). He is a minister who builds attachments between God’s churches (15:25-29). He is a man who is not too proud to ask for help (15:30-33). He is a man with friends and co-workers (16:1-16, 20-24). He is a man who is aware of the dangers in this world, especially regarding the gospel (16:17-19). He is a man confident in God’s strength (16:20, 25). And, he is a man who blesses God (16:25-27).
In all of this we see a man claimed by God who is being used for God’s purposes. And, we see Paul’s own personality – earnestness, ambition, godly pride, planning, relationships – peaking through. It is so easy to view Paul as a superhuman who walked the earth. Yet, here we see that his experience was not far from our own. In Paul, we see a human being caught up into God’s plan. Amazingly, the same is true of us. Though we may not be called to the same ministry as Paul, we have been called by the same God. And, God works through our humanity even as he transforms it. Your personality is a tool in God’s hands, as are your drive and passions and relationships.
May God grant us grace to trust ourselves to him, and may we accomplish all that he sets before us.