“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).
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 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.” 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.
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?
More from the Girlfriends
Many of us feel broken. Our mistakes, the pain others have caused us, and circumstances outside our control taunt us every day, though we long to turn a new page. In When You Don’t Like Your Story, bestselling author Sharon Jaynes challenges 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?
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© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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My low self esteem and doing things I didn’t even want to do with people I should’ve never been around in the first place. Not loving or seeing any worth in myself qualifies me to speak on the unconditional love of God for us. He loves and accepts us! He will restore, renew, revive, rebuild, whatever it takes to show you just how valuable you are to Him. I’m qualified because of all my disqualifications.
I’ve learned to love when people say< "I remember when you used to". Guess what? So do I! But I get a chance to finish the story and tell you about my loving God!
Thank you, Sharon and Sister Donna, for both of your writings this am!
Life’s situations have gotten in my way this week. Has left me feeling pretty disqualified. But, I know Jesus has placed me in this position, not only to be the example of grace, but to have me learn the lesson of silence and prayer, first.
Donna, thank you for your statement, “I’m qualified because of all my disqualifications”.
Couldn’t have said it, any better!
Aren’t we glad God doesn’t remember “what we used to do”? Praise Him for the gift of forgiveness through Jesus!
Such a beautiful reminder of the work only God can do in is! I’m qualified because of the blood of Jesus that covers my sin and makes me clean. I’m qualified because I am a child of the Most High God! I’m qualified because God wants to use every failure of mine for HIS Glory! (And there’s a LOT of failures!) I’m do grateful for God’s never-changing love for us ❤
I was diagnosed with a rare disease six years ago and was sitting in a chair unable to move and hearing the word, “worthless” in my ear from the devil himself. I know I would have said I was disqualified from working for the Christian ministry I served or leading songs at a women’s conference or even cooking dinner for my husband. However, Jesus is faithful and He found ways for me to serve and write and even sing despite my condition. He is definitely not done using me yet. I give Him all the praise!
Thank God that He is the one and only one who is “qualified” to say who is ‘disqualified’….
And what does He say? “Father forgive them… for they know not what they do!”
Those words speak across the ravages of time and space to every heart that will listen! God came in the form of humanity to live and die and rise victorious— so that NOT a single one of His created children would ever have to be “disqualified”.
My life has been train wrecked / shipwrecked / broken into so many pieces that even the best of Christian therapists have asked.. “how do you go on after all you have been through?” Answer is… “I don’t!” Nope it isn’t me… rather it is God in me / with me / through me that daily “goes on” Thank you Sharon and to ALL my Girlfriends in God for reminding me that God IS in control and He qualifies us ALL as His trophies 🏆
I am getting ready to facilitate a GriefShare group in September. I definitely don’t feel qualified or adequate but I know by my own experience losing my son to suicide 13 years ago and because of God’s Word He will qualify me and make all things work for good! I have to pray through those days of “I am not good enough” and know those are only temporary feelings and things the enemy whispers to bring me down. God’s authority reigns!
I love that…..He is the one and only one who is “qualified” to say who is “disqualified”! Praise His name!!
I tell myself all day every day about my failures, my loneliness, my mistakes, so that nothing is good enough. I understand that self-compassion is not a trait valued in American society, but I don’t believe myself when I try it. The only thing that helps is asking Jesus to open my heart to my positive words.
I truly felt disqualified as a Christian when my daughter married a woman.But through Christian counseling and love from my family and friends I have been able to come past that.Now her partner died rather suddenly in April and my daughter wants to move back home in November.We have not lived together since this started five years ago so while we want to help her I am feeling anxious about what this will mean for all of us.