“I have realized that diagnosing myself as ordinary can carry with it some pride. ‘I’m the ordinary guy’ sounds humble, but can still pack a proud attitude.  That’s the sinful human heart, I guess—able to boast about a lack of skill or a lack of talent just as much as an abundance of each.  It’s pathetic, but it shows that somewhere and somehow I still want to be a big deal, even if the big deal is being ordinary.  I still want to wear a label.  I have learned that when I say I am ordinary, I am sometimes actually bragging and maybe even hoping that people will respond to my statement with some kind of a correction—’Oh, no, you’re not.  Not you.’ That does something to me that my heart quite enjoys.

“But then there are the people who agree with my diagnosis.  Or who even somehow communicate that they had already come to that conclusion.  I have counseled people in my church who really wanted one of the other guys, but had to settle for me.  I have been invited to speak at conferences or churches where I have learned—or just been told—that I am plan b or plan c.  We really wanted those other guys, but they were all too busy doing other important stuff, so we’re settling for you.  And the public has said it as well.  I’ve written books, and the books have sold, but not in noteworthy quantities.  It’s not that I expected a book on spiritual discernment or a book on Christians and technology to go shooting onto the New York Times list of bestsellers, but, you know, like every other author, I couldn’t help but dream a little.”


(Tim Challies, “On Being an Ordinary Christian,” Jan. 12, 2015)

Tim Challies on Being the Ordinary Guy


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