Ever feel unqualified or under-qualified? Ever wonder, "How in the world can I be a good parent or spouse when I can't be a good me?" I have. We feel overwhelmed with the tasks at hand and wonder what God was thinking when he placed us in these roles. Lately I have often been reminded of my lack of qualification. Unqualified is defined as: not fit or not having requisite qualifications.
Sometimes the task of wearing many hats can be overwhelming to say the least. The pressure of striving to make an “A” in every area of life leaves me feeling like Bilbo Baggins….“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
It seems that in order to qualify for God’s work, un-qualification is the number one qualification! Though it may seem as though marriage in a 21st century world is next to impossible, remember, God works best in impossible situations! We have his written instructions for us. You may want to consider searching those Scriptures out and finding affirming promises that combat accusations of un-qualification. Put the verse in first person. "I am more than a conqueror through Christ." Romans 8:37. It is my relationship with Him that qualifies me to do the things I find set before me.
However, there are times when the opposite seems true. We feel overqualified. We feel that certain work is beneath us or that we have grown past a season in life. “I’ve put in my time serving in the nursery,” we might justify. “It’s time for someone else to step in." Or, "I've raised my children. They have to figure things out on their own now." Perhaps you feel that you've outgrown your spouse and wish that you could move on.
Overqualified is defined as: having more education, training, or experience than a job calls for.
Jesus is the epitome of over-qualification. The son of God came to earth as a man….and He came to serve. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:5-8 MSG)
When it comes to serving our families or our communities, there can be nothing beneath us. Jesus was overqualified in everything He did, but he never allowed that to keep Him from humbling Himself and serving others.
Your children may be grown, but there are so many other parents that you can encourage through your trials and triumphs. Your experience as a parent can benefit those young men and women who are feeling unqualified. The fun of serving your spouse may have worn off, but the call to serve has not. Allowing feelings of over-qualification ushers in pride, and we know that pride comes before the fall.
But the most difficult station of qualification to find oneself in is disqualification. Disqualify is defined as: to make ineligible for a prize or for further competition because of violations of the rules.
There have been times that I have lost my temper in front of my children, or that I have blatantly disrespected my husband. When those times come I feel disqualified.
Did Joseph’s lack of discretion in telling his brothers his dreams disqualify him from a position that would require great discretion? No! In fact, the consequences of his indiscretion led to bringing him into the very place where he would become the wisest man alive!
Did the fact that Paul persecuted Christians disqualify him from becoming the man who discipled the gentiles? History shouts a resounding, “No!”
When God shares with you His dreams for your life, or when you find yourself on a road and accosted by His presence, remember…God prefers the under-, over-and seemingly dis- qualified.
Maybe it’s because through our frailty He is made strong. Or perhaps it’s because when we are forced to depend on Him we are forced to acknowledge His workings in us…
He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I am certain many have been confounded by my doings. I know I have! I should not be surprised by their accusations and defeating words, or by my own deafening doubts.
Romans 11:29 tells us: God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone.
One word should be more important to us than our qualifications: calling. Calling is defined as: a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.
It has been often said, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
It’s so easy to look at the people of faith in Scripture as qualified when we know the end of the story. But, how difficult it is for us to see that He has called us qualified in the midst of our own journey. He asks us not worry about our qualifications, but to choose to follow boldly the calling that God has placed on our life.
It sounds so simple: Follow your calling and trust God to do the equipping.
Sometimes He calls from a fiery bush, while other times He appears as a great light disrupting our plans, but most often He leads by a small, still voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” No matter which way calls, know that He who calls you also qualifies you. You are qualified to be a blessing to the family you've been given, now walk in it.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra