Today’s Truth

“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 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!

Let’s Pray

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

Sharon’s newest book releases January 26, 2021. Click here to learn about pre-order bonuses with free goodies!

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 of difficult stories but repurpose them for good? What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories?

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 know 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. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes a Bible study guide.

© 2021 by Insert Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

13 Responses to “Disqualified? Says Who?”

  1. Sherri says:

    Wow, Sharon!! So powerful…I could feel the intense sincerity of your love in this devotion.

    For me, it is a shaking of sort to wake up.

    Blessings to everyone.

    Thank you…I needed this!!

  2. Paula says:

    Because I AM FORGIVEN…… I am qualified. It took me a long time to believe that I was. But once you get it then you can move on and help someone else. Just remember our past makes a way for us to help others in the future.
    In Christ

  3. LaTricia says:

    Sadly, I think I disqualified myself… I told myself I wasn’t worthy or good enough! I allowed myself to slip back into old habits. Sadly, I know the day God told me I was living beneath my privilege I was like what! Knowing I knew what He meant. I myself have robbed LaTricia into disqualification.

  4. Hope R Cornwell says:

    Thank you for pointing to God’s grace which lovingly draws us to Him. You rightly point out that living through an experience allows us to get past it & encourage others along the way. Be blessed!!

  5. Stacey says:

    Thank you! This spoke to me today. I often allow the shame of past mistakes and sin haunt me.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story about Steven. How humbling to drop your book in the mail and receive the phone call the very same day. Your post caused me to consider all the parts I got that I had not planned to audition for. Two of the biggest were my mom’s death when I was 18 then becoming a cancer widow with three children to raise alone. I acted out my grief and sadness in ways that disqualified me in my own eyes and in the eyes of many in my conservative church. And then God used the hard lessons I learned oh so slowly to teach me how to have mercy on and to encourage others who make big mistakes, or struggle with grief, a health crisis, fear, starting over, or single motherhood, to name a few. I have also learned about God’s grace and how it is often easier to offer it to others rather than to accept it myself. If I am qualified to share what I learned to encourage others, it is because I suffered these things myself.

    Thank you Sharon for reminding me of these things.

  7. carol says:

    Thank you, Sharon,
    Perfect post to start today.
    My response is Psalm 103:12,” He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west.”….and, Psalm 25:6-7 “Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.”
    It took me far too long to realize the truth of these two passages. I walked around for years, with my own word tattooed on my forehead, thinking I wasn’t worthy enough. Thanks, to our loving Father! He has the patience to wait for us, if we only believe it ourselves!

  8. Marti says:

    At the age of 44, my 43-year-old husband, my college sweetheart, passed away. Ten years later I remarried to a man that I knew Didn’t share my faith. I made a blatant choice of disobedience, and now another five years later I find myself facing divorce. This devotion reflects how I feel on many days. I have made choices Without praying about them because I wanted what I wanted. Now as I pick up the pieces, I am grateful for the word declares that God can still use me in spite of my mistakes.

  9. Deborah says:

    Sharon, you really made me search my soul today. I have been struggling with guilt that I know I’ve given to God over and over, but it keeps resurfacing to make me doubt my salvation. In my heart, I know forgiven, but my mind keeps stirring up the pot. Thank you for reminding me I need to forgive myself and accept God’s love and forgiveness.

  10. richard says:

    I have been receiving treatment for anxiety for 45 years,
    God has choreographed my help.
    Personally. For me.
    This has taught me how much love god has.
    By the grace of god,I am free to be me
    If he can do it for me he will do it for all

  11. Lynne says:

    Thank you for your words that God does remove our transgressions, our guilt & our shame. I remind myself of this daily, but sometimes my feelings betray me. It’s been 10 Years since I disobeyed God. At the time I did not see this as disobedience, I only saw it as an infatuation with my pastor- a man, by the way, that I have never even spoken to. Although happily married for close to 35 years, my pastor could tell I was impressed with him. And boy was he impressed with me. Although I confessed my sin to my husband, my pastor and his wife, I have been treated as an outcast. I’ve been shunned, not even spoken to or even looked at. It has been more difficult than anything I could ever imagine. But I know that the Lord knows by heart. I have to overcome the lies that I hear repeated in my head every day and choose to believe the one voice of truth. I am worthy. I am not perfect, only Jesus is. I am forgiven. My past is only the story of how God got me to where I am today. I do have a future. He does have a purpose for me, and I will fulfill it. God can use even the thing that has hurt me the most in my life and make it for my good and His eternal glory. I can leave the past behind and help others learn from what God has had to heal in me. May I be in practice who I already am in position – a disqualified sinner made qualified by the grace of God❤️

  12. Lillin says:

    Speaking of books…I could write a book about my disssqualifiactions! Though I have used my life’s experiences to minister to other women, my soul and mind have a problem forgiving myself. Now I know who’s the evil voice I’ve been listening to. Thank you for this devotion. I needed it!

  13. Claudia says:

    I am a lover of God who struggles with sin, not a sinner who struggles to love God. That’s what qualifies me; He has qualified me, chosen me, pursued me, ransomed me, hand-picked me, accepted me.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8