March 22, 2021
March 22, 2021
By Leslie Hotzfeld, Executive Director of BUMC
“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” v 5, NLT
Have you ever been asked to do something that was too hard, too advanced, required skills or experience that you lacked? Have you ever been asked to do something, or been given a responsibility, and you thought “I can’t do this. I’m not qualified!” Many of us suffer from something called ‘imposter syndrome’. Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Of imposter syndrome, author and online educator Sophia Amoruso, says “You know the symptoms: irrational racing thoughts screaming at you that you don’t belong, aren’t good enough, can’t swing it, are doomed to fail, they’re all going to point and laugh… the list goes on.” I’d go so far as to say everyone of us has felt this way at some point in our life!
I remember a time when I was asked to do something that, while it was a ‘big’ task, I felt up for the challenge. It seemed like a good thing for me to do. I was prepared, I thought. But within days (maybe hours!) of saying “yes”, the doubts crept in. What was I thinking? I’m not qualified for this! It was very soon after that, I was talking with a friend and colleague in ministry. Out of the blue he said to me “Leslie, you’ve got to remember that your ability to do this job does not come from you. It is God’s power in you that will get the job done.” He was quoting 2 Corinthians 3:5 to me. I have recalled that moment and those words many times. Those words did not take away all of the fear or doubt, but they did begin to fill me with a confidence that I knew was not my own.
Contemporary writer Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “We are all asked to do more than we can do. Every hero and heroine of the Bible does more than he [or she] would have thought it possible to do, from Gideon to Esther to Mary.” I encourage you to read their stories – you may see yourself in them!
Paul is another unlikely hero in the Bible. He certainly did not seem qualified to be a disciple, teacher, or even a friend to Christ followers. But Paul knew where his authority came from, where his qualifications came from. In Ephesians 3:20 he writes “Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.” Time and again, God selects ordinary, ‘unqualified’ people and equips them to do extraordinary things.
Lord, this is the day that you have made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, even as we know it will bring more than we can do. May we remember that it is your power at work in us that is our qualification. Amen.