THE QUALIFICATION TRAP
“I used to think that the answer to my failures was to fix them, that the solution to my weaknesses was to replace them with strengths. I assumed the secret to success was to appear as perfect, flawless, and superhuman as possible. I concluded that my character and my competency qualified me or disqualified me. But God’s qualification system is much different from ours. And so is his way of approaching our weaknesses. Rather than stressing and obsessing over our lack, we need to find a different qualifier.
You need to change the way you see yourself and others. As you understand how God sees you, you will find the freedom and self-confidence that he wants for your life. You will never get those things from human qualifications. That’s a dead-end street. You could never be perfect enough or fail-proof enough to be at peace with yourself on that basis alone. Peace and confidence come through one thing: acceptance. In a culture fixated on self-improvement and self-help, that might seem counterintuitive. But it’s true.
Your acceptance of yourself, including your weaknesses, and knowing you are accepted by God NOW is crucial. That means confronting the parts of you that you may prefer to ignore. And it means knowing who you are (and who you are not). Your acceptance of God’s process of change. God’s work in your life isn’t meant to squelch or eradicate the real you but rather to bring out the best possible version of you. These concepts—identity, weakness, and change—will show up again and again because they are directly related to this issue of being qualified.
The three have a cyclical relationship. I know the “real me”—my identity—all too well. I know I have many weaknesses. That makes me feel unqualified, so I try to change my weaknesses. But reality soon sinks in. I can’t completely fix myself. So my identity suffers even more, and I feel even less qualified. As long as my answer to my lack of qualifications is just to try harder to qualify myself, I’ll stay stuck in that cycle. Has that ever happened to you? Do your failures ever shout so loudly you can’t hear the opportunities? Do your self-doubts ever sabotage your success before you even get out of the gate? The gap between who you are and what you want to accomplish can feel impossibly wide, and the question is left looming: Am I qualified for this?
Now let me say this up-front—that question is not the problem. You should ask yourself if you are qualified. Especially if you are trying to fly an airplane or perform open-heart surgery. In those cases, by all means, evaluate your training, your knowledge, your experience, and your abilities. We wil lall thank you for it. And certainly there are ethical and moral standards to uphold in any field. But when it comes to more subjective matters, keep in mind that your assessment is not infallible. And maybe, just maybe, you are over estimating your shortcomings and underestimating your gifts.
Maybe the fact that you don’t currently measure up to the expectations you or other people have isn’t a deal killer. Maybe God wants to do something beyond your abilities, and he is far less intimidated by your failures and limits than you are.“
Adapted: Steven Furtick – (Un)Qualified – BH