Have you ever felt that something done to you or done through you disqualified you from doing great things for God? Let me tell you a story about when I felt sooooo disqualified.
My son, Steven, was in the ninth grade when I turned in the manuscript for my book, Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids. I should have waited until he was in the tenth grade.
That fateful morning, I placed my neatly printed pages in a padded envelope, prayed a blessing over the bundle, and then dropped a year of hard work in the mail slot at the post office. When I returned home, my phone was ringing. It was Steven.
“Hey, Mom, I’m calling to let you know that I’m in the principal’s office. I got caught stealing in the lunchroom. You need to come to the school.”
I sped to the school, stomped down the hall, and opened the principal’s door. There sat this strange person wearing my son’s clothes slumped sheepishly in a chair. Steven got five days of in-school suspension, which was the least of his worries.
After I got him home, I wanted to climb back into that mailbox and GET THAT BOOK OUT OF THERE! Who did I think I was writing a book on parenting? What was I thinking? What an idiot! I am so disqualified! I called the publisher and told them the story, giving them an out. The vice president just said with a smile in his voice, “Welcome to the real world.”
The Bible tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). The Greek word translated “handiwork” is poēma, which also means masterpiece, workmanship, epic poem. God created us for a purpose and a plan before we were born. He even marked out the times and places we would live (Acts 17:26).
How silly to think that His plans could be altered or negated because of something we’ve done, or something that has been done to us. We’ll never hear God say, “Oops, I didn’t see that coming.” Click & Tweet! God does the qualifying. Not me. Not you. Not anyone.
Consider Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “It’s not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:5–6 NLT).
It is all about God from start to finish. My qualifications to do what God called me to do are really irrelevant.
I felt the incident with Steven had disqualified me. God said it didn’t. Looking back, I needed that struggle. Steven had been an easy kid. If I was going to be teaching anybody anything about raising kids, I needed to hit a wall, climb over it, and find Jesus cheering for me on the other side.
Okay, you might be thinking, So what, your kid stole from the lunchroom. I’ve stolen someone’s husband. I’ve been arrested. I’ve traded sex for money. I’ve had an abortion. We could compare mistakes and missteps all day long. But the devil taunts us with the same word: disqualified.
Go ahead, say the word aloud. Can you hear the serpent’s hiss? What most of us think disqualifies us is often the wound that actually qualifies us to know what we’re talking about.
In the Bible, Paul could talk about grace because his Christian-killing-past-self had received so much of it. He knew what he was talking about.
The woman caught in adultery could talk about forgiveness because she had experienced it firsthand. She knew what she was talking about.
Don’t let the devil tell you that your past pain disqualifies you from your present calling.
There’s nothing he would like more than for you to hold an audition in your head and stamp a big REJECTED across your own forehead.
Here’s some good news: The audition has been canceled. You got the part.
By the way, Steven grew up to be a fine young man and the only thing he has stolen since the ninth grade is the heart of sweet Emily who became his wife.
So, here’s the question: What qualifies you to be a Christian and to serve Christ? Leave a comment and speak it!
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am qualified to do what You have called me to do because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His Spirit in me. Nothing more. Nothing less. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Many of us feel disqualified by past experiences. However, it could be those past experiences are what qualify us for a powerful ministry. In When You Don’t Like Your Story, I challenge us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out our difficult stories but repurpose them for good? What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? What if your story is the very one someone else needs to hear to experience healing in theirs? Let’s change the ending to those difficult chapters. Get your copy and begin the journey today.
Also, if you’re a mom or know a mom who needs some encouragement in the most important job on earth, check out Sharon’s book, Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids.
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
I have an unsaved friend who struggles with her self esteem. Would this be a good book for her?
The book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence would be better for her.
YesSharon that book is still my favorite one 💝 its love written straight from Gods heart ❤️
you are so right. God decides who will do His will. Just like Rahab and David and all the great people in the Bible who did amazing things for God, we who are broken and dejected are the ones God can use.
Sometimes the pain he allows us to feel is our training ground for his mission for us.
Thank you Sharon for your words and encouragement. I am 75 and still trying to understand my qualifications for the destiny Father has given me. And yes I place my hope and trust in His Son Jesus ❤️
I feel the same way! That seems to be my constant question as I age (am 56) and is nice to know it may always be. I suppose, as my grandmother would always say whenever questioned on something that passes human understanding, we can only “Keep the Faith”!
Wow needed this I’m returning to work soon and my past is pretty sordid. I constantly questioned if I could even continue in my Christian walk knowing my past. Thanks for your transparency
What qualifies me as a Christian is that I need/depend on Jesus/God/Holy Spirit in my life and I am nothing without Him. I serve Him because He loves me unconditionally and bored my sin and shame on the cross. Also, that He sacrificed Himself for me. I feel privileged to know Him and have a relationship with Him. Because of Jesus God sees me as blameless and acceptable in His sight.
I am very unqualified to be GOD’s messager, but I try everyday! And I rejoice in it! It is so rewarding
Thank you for making GOD’s Wonderful GOSPEL so alive and touching each one of us! ( even in our imperfect state !). We need to remember!!!, we will never be perfect till GOD makes us perfect! PTL!!!
Bless you and your productive service to the LORD!!
That’s such an inspiration to others. May God continue to bless you and continue to inspire others to stay steadfast on the truth of our relationship with him. Be blessed
Thank you for the reminder
This was such a blessing…I literally had such a pity party, tears included over how I felt slighted/disqualifed. I admit the enemy had a megaphone in my head. But I woke to this reminder GOD decides…He is the one who is in charge of what I will do or have, I just need to listen to His directives…Thank you Sharon
Thank you Sharon. Relevant, relatable Truths we all need reminding of.
Thank You Lord Jesus for equipping and providing…
Jesus qualified me at the cross. His ultimate sacrifice and my surrender to him has qualified me. I am so thankful because when I think of where I would still be I shudder. Satan of course still has field days in my mind when I doubt myself and feel so unqualified. I pray daily for Jesus to protect my mind from him.
I am experiencing a new “season “ in my life in retirement and having to let go of my adult children. I am waiting on Jesus to show me my purpose now. Some days are hard when I feel doubt about my ability to do anything but I know that He is not going to leave me now. He has brought me this far and has cleansed me from my past. Praise His Holy Name.
Thank you Sharon for sharing the Scripture 2 Corinthians 3:5 which says that our competency/ qualification comes from the LORD. Yes i truly believe in this Scripture. GOD looks at our hearts not our outside or physical appearance. GOD told these lines to Samuel when GOD asked Samuel to look for David in Jesse’s house and appoint David as GOD’s chosen one. That is in Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus has chosen Simon Peter and Paul to continue with His mission and that is to spread the Gospel to us mankind. See, GOD looks at our heart for GOD is Omnipotent and all-knowing. GOD discerns our thoughts from afar (Psalm 139). He knows the posture of our heart. He knows if we are sincere or not.
I currently struggle with a stealing addiction. What would help me? Book or verses in the Bible?
I feel so worthless and unloved! I have been trying so hard to be Gods hands in a hurting world but feel I have no value. After two major accidents (16 inches of hardware in one leg) and almost four years of PT I am ready to give up. So tired of trying -I know Jesus loves us but right now am so discouraged.
I’m so sorry. Don’t give up!!! God is going to use it all. Just keep taking the next step.
I truly enjoyed your story
My women’s group at church is about to begin your book When You Don’t Like Your Story. Prayers for me as I lead them through it (my first time as their “leader”). So much of what I’ve read in this book mirrors parts of my story. Thank you for encouraging Christians to share their stories rather than hide them away.
I’m sooooo excited to see what God is going to do in your group! He will guide you. I’m sure of it!
I actually bought your book “When You Don’t Like Your Story” a while ago. Guess I should dust it off & read it! I’m struggling with imposter syndrome in my writing. 😵💫
I had a very special story I was planning to write about one day… I did all that I could do best to raise my daughter from “scratch” meaning didn’t get what I gave her… fast forward she graduated from law school and passed the test, got hired. In the meanwhile she built walls, I kept hoping and praying and letting go. She chose not to invite me to her wedding. Ouch!.. No memories of her happiest day. Please pause, before you make any conclusions. I am barely holding to my Jesus to help me in this additional heartbreak. Pray.
I sometimes feel disqualified to share the Lord with seemingly “successful ” ladies. I’m going through a divorce, and I feel it looks like a stumbling block for others to accept my testimony to live for Christ. The Lord delivered me from a stressful marriage that brought me health issues. To many Christians, divorce means a fatal flaw in a woman’s life. I finally realized that the peace and contentment it has brought me has freed me from bondage to a person who didn’t respect or trust me. I’ve been more involved in church and a Bible study that encourages me to take in Christ each day. I’m trusting God to take care of details I have no control over. God knows the path I need to take and daily I surrender to Him finding guidance for a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
God’s timing is perfect is my thought as I read through this beautiful piece: a very short while ago, 10 mins to be precise, I felt unqualified to continue praying a 26 year old friend to safety. He was informed three weeks ago that his uncles want him dead so that they can grab his inheritance. Allegedly, they’re consulting and employing dark forces to accomplish their evil plan.
Nothing in my past or in my culture prepares me to contend with this. So I’ve just been praying for God’s protection over his life. I’ve been praying that God lifts a standard against any enemy and arrest any evil spirits as well as change the hearts of those uncles.
I thank God I recognized that hissing sound that said I was unworthy to intercede because I am a sinner.
I smiled and told the serpent to shut up: it’s not me interceding but Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is not me doing any protecting but the Holy Spirit going over 700kms to shine in the darkness of demonic forces.
Join spiritual hands with us as we thank God for what He is doing; as we praise His name and glorify Him.
Pray for us to have more faith and not to fear. Pray for us to believe implicitly that the devil and his minions are defeated.
OH! MY! GOSH! I absolutely needed this today! I have done SO many things in my life that I though disqualified me, absolutely! Thank you Sharon for the amazing reminder that I AM FORGIVEN! My story can help me with other’s struggles. I STILL have to remind myself of the forgiveness I’ve received from Christ dying on the cross for ME!
I would LOVE for you all to pray for our children, they are unbelievers, even though they were taken to church, taught what God has done for them, but are not Christians. They struggle and I KNOW why, but I can’t change that, ONLY GOD!
Love, your sister in Christ!
I’m soooooo glad!!!!!
Because my identity, acceptance and justification is found in Jesus!