August 18, 2015

When You Feel Unqualified

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 18, 2015

Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Five years ago I wrote my first book. One day after its publication, I decided to surf the Internet to see if I could find any helpful reviews for the “paperback baby” I had just birthed after a year of labor. Google led me to a blog with an excerpt from my new read and a string of comments from a handful of people. A few had read my new book, some hadn’t. “She has no business writing and speaking. She doesn’t even have a degree in journalism.” “I have been in Christian education my entire life and even I don’t have a book published. She shouldn’t be writing.” “I spoke with my father who is a pastor and he said that Shana is totally unqualified.” I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, but these comments hurt. They weren’t about my new book; they were about my character and qualifications. They were about me!

When I pondered their comments, my spirit deflated. Perhaps they are right. I’m not qualified. I should just quit. I should stop talking about Christ, stop writing about Him. Who do I think I am? I haven’t been to seminary; I don’t have any formal speaking training. And, what makes me think I can write books? I don’t even have an English degree! My mind immediately turned to a prayer session I had spent with a few godly, affirming women. These ladies reminded me that those who struggle are the perfect candidates for God’s grace and to be used by Him. I then looked up 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 which says:

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the LORD.’”

Suddenly, the truth of this scripture sank into my heart, and the sadness I momentarily felt about being unqualified turned to jubilation. I am not qualified and that is magnificent, awesome, and a truly wonderful thing! It’s precisely because I am not qualified that I can only boast in Christ, and Jesus is lifted up!

Maybe God has called you to a task, dream, or challenge and you feel unqualified. Let me encourage you. You are unqualified—at least in some way—and that’s a very good thing. Even if you have the degree or the credentials, no one makes a difference for Christ whether it’s in medicine, ministry, business, or botany because they feel totally qualified. God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Those who succeed and make a difference for God are those who are willing to step out in faith even though they know they are not totally qualified. Remember this as you support those around you who are stepping out in faith— remember this as you step out in faith. You are unqualified—and this is a very, very good thing. It’s the very reason that Christ can be glorified through you.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

Prayer: Lord, it’s so awesome that it’s not about my qualifications and what I am able to do. It’s about what you are able to do through me. Thank you, Lord, for using me in spite of me. You are awesome!

Application: What am I facing that I can’t do—but Christ can do through me?

Related Readings: Psalm 147:10; Philippians 4:19; 1 Chronicles 29:11

Post/Tweet this today: Being unqualified is a good thing #WisdomHunters #GodChoosestheFoolishThings

If you would like to read more from Shana, you’re invited to download her free, Devotional, 30 Days of Hope.

Worship Resource: 4 minute music video- Gaither’s: When I Cry

Check out Two Minutes in the Bible Through Proverbs: Order Boyd’s newest devotional book. 

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  1. Jenny says:

    The disciples were average people, a physician, tax collector (who was hated by all) John, Peter, Paul…God uses the underqualified so He receives the glory, not man. But also, God qualifies the unqualified and equips us for every good service.

  2. Julie says:

    Well, you may not be “qualified” but you surely are annointed! I can’t tell you how this speaks to me, especially today as I meet with a pastor about leading a bible study I don’t feel qualified to lead! God used you so personally in this devotion today, even quoting John 15:4-5, my go to scripture. Thank you thank you for your holy encouragement!!!

  3. Mack says:

    Loved your thoughts today! I’ve heard those carnal comments for nearly 40 years. Just consider the source and stay focused on Him!

  4. Beth Rhodarmer says:

    Shana, thank you for your words of encouragement as I read your your devotional on Wisdom Hunters. Several months ago, I began sharing my testimony through song on social media. Although I have not faced opposition with hurtful comments yet, i know there are those who may ask “why is she doing this?” Or saying “she shouldn’t be singing”or “she is no good”. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I too, am not qualified. But the Lord has put a song in my heart and there are times I feel a need to share. Thank you again and please continue to write and share. God will use you beyond what you can ever imagine.

  5. lytra wilson says:

    Ultimately, you were most qualified. Many people base their information upon secular and society’s standards. But, those, who claim to be spiritual should know that God can use anyone he wants to perform his work. You could have not graduated from high school and wrote a book.

  6. Val says:

    God spoke these words to me once “Wisdom and intelligence don’t live in the same street. I will give you all you need to be successful.” We are experienced because we are experiencing this with the One who has already gone before us. He has already been there. That’s all the experience you need.

  7. LaKenya says:

    Shana, this really blessed my spirit and invoked a sense of truth and affirmation to continue in God’s strength. I’m starting to step out of my comfort zone and it feels good to know I’m not doing it based on my own qualifications but His! Glory to God for you!

  8. Gwynne says:

    Dear LaKenya,
    Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words after reading “When You Feel Unqualified”. Please know that I will pass along your comments to Shana and I just know she will be blessed by them.
    I think you speak for others in the Wisdom Hunter’s family when you stated “this really blessed my spirit and invoked a sense of truth and affirmation to continue in God’s strength.” LaKenya, are you as amazed as I am that God puts the words we need to read in front of us at just the right time? His Perfect Timing!
    Shana’s statement “Those who succeed and make a difference for God are those who are willing to step out in faith even though they know they are not totally qualified” is such a great reminder to all of us. Then she adds, “You are unqualified-and this is a very, very good thing. It’s the very reason that Christ can be glorified through you.” Praise God! What a wonderful “shot of encouragement”.
    Thank you LaKenya, for taking the time to reach out to us. May God bless you as you step out of your comfort zone for HIM.
    Believing and trusting~
    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of thre Holy Spirit.”
    Romans 15:13

  9. Jimmy James says:

    Thank you. It encouraged me

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