“It is 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).
Friend to Friend
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 enveloped, 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. We need to get this. 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.” God does the qualifying. Not me. Not you. Not anyone sitting in the stands.
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 has 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.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there something that has happened to you or a choice that you have made that has made you feel disqualified from serving Jesus? If so, what does today’s truth say to that? Leave a comment and say, “I’m not disqualified!” if this devotion spoke to you.
More from the Girlfriends
What has been done to you and what has been done through you does not disqualify you from God’s best for your life. It qualifies you for an even greater purpose than you would have ever known without it. In fact, the worst parts of your story might just be what God uses the most. So, sink deep into God’s life-changing truths in When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes a Bible study guide.
© 2022 by Insert Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Thank you for this. I was feeling very disqualified to be a parent this morning. My 16 yr old daughter got to me latnight and I yelled at her. She’s very defiant and rude. Along with disrespectful and entitled. I just wanna give up. She changed completely between 8th and 9th grade. She is a completely different person than what I raised. I feel like I’m the only one who is experience this rebellious heart. I wanna quit.
Teenager girls are something aren’t they! I was one too!
Feeling very disqualified! Sometimes feel like my life is a workbook on “what not to do”
What a blessing and reminder that I am NOT disqualified! Thank you Lord
I have tried to suggest to two my adult children, who I raised to be faithful to the Church, how important it is to have my grandchildren grow up to know and love God. They just don’t see the point and make no effort to try to attend Church. They spend their Sunday mornings sleeping in, making a big breakfast or a run to Starbucks. I thought I made an impression upon my two adult children that they would carry through life. Oh well, what did I know! But I do know that our God has a plan and even though they roll their eyes (a childhood habit carry over)at me when I bring it up I am not going to stop. I pray everyday and have faith to believe!
Never give up. God has a way of bringing prodigals to their knees. It might be hard to watch, but it will be worth it.
Thank you for this! I am not disqualified!! Tears flow as I type these words💕
THANKFUL FATHER YOU SEE MY HEART AND LOVE ME THROUGH IT ALL. NOT DISQUALIFIED!
Two years ago at the age of 67 my husband and I were given custody of three grandchildren. The oldest was a surly teenager, the youngest was only 2 weeks old, and a special needs three year old in between. We felt so DISQUALIFIED! We had made more than our share of mistakes raising our own three boys. How could we expect to do better at this age? I am not going to say it has been easy. We still make mistakes. Some days are better than others. By the grace of God and with the help of the Christian brothers and sisters He has surrounded us with, we are doing our best to give these boys a good home. God says I am not disqualified. So … I am not disqualified!
I have been feeling the tug on my heart to share Jesus with others. I think I hold back because I know I’m so far from perfect and I’m afraid that in itself with turn others from God. I actually woke up having a dream of writing my own journey but again felt disqualified. I prayed for a sign and admittedly haven’t read a devotional for quite some time. I opened today’s writing and began to cry. I knew this message was from the Spirit and that God hears & sees me. It was such a beautiful reminder that I am QUALIFIED. That God’s strength is shown in my weakness. That Our God is Big and I have to be a vessel and trust in Him. Thank you!
Oh girl. If we had to be even close to perfect, none of us would share a word…and no one would want to hear a perfect person anyway!!!!
I am not disqualified- Thank you Sharon for obedience to the holy spirit. I so needed this devotion.
I thought I had consciously chosen the wrong path, even a rebellious one. I had to; the pull was too strong. To my amazement, and often to my humble acceptance, I find that, instead of making a U-turn and going back to where I was, God says, Okay, now this is where you will serve me. Huh? Did I really make a wrong turn back there? Did God have this planned all along? Truly, I don’t know. What I do know is that what I did back then has led to where I am now—ministering to others (women mostly) with my writing and my art, gifts that I honestly think would lie largely dormant had I not gone where I did.
God saw it coming. I sure didn’t, and I’m still shaking my head in wonder.
He is sooo good!
I not disqualified!!! I thank you so much JESUS.
Praise and Thanks to God!! I am NOT disqualified..
There may be times when I feel disqualified but I’m not. As parents we all strive to do our best but our children’s patterns for going to church may change when they become adults. We just have to keep pRying that they will come back.
I am not disqualified tyyyyy for this blessings
I am NOT disqualified. Long story short…over 20-years ago I divorced one man to be with another. I’ve asked for God’s forgiveness and He has forgiven me. But I won’t allow myself to forgive me. Reading this devotion this morning I realized I’m letting Satan win by making me feel disqualified. Satan has been holding me back all these years. When I feel like I want to serve Jesus in some way I would feel like I don’t have the right – because of my past sins. I’m going to try to get past that. I am Qualified!
I am not disqualified! I needed to hear this. I am stepping into a new position in my ministry and parts of me were thinking that it he process has only been easy because a need must be filled. I am reminded that God is sovereign and He goes before is to lay out our oaths before we even do. This is His will for my life and I chose to accept. I pray for God give me grace as I step into this new role. I realize for the things I don’t know, He will equip me along the way. Thank you and God bless you!
I am not disqualified! I so needed this. I often feeling like I’m not worthy to qualify as Christian Women, for so many of my sins. When I read of the Woman at the Well and how Jesus gave her grace, I knew I’m worthy to be called a Godly Woman.
Thank you for your Godly wisdom.