Have you ever picked up a book, knowing it would impact your life in an incredible way before you even cracked open the cover? The simple title of it – Unqualified – hit me right in the heart. If you’ve read my about page, then you are familiar with my struggles of feeling unqualified to lead. This is a book that promises to change my perspective….about myself.
The first chapter was a tease. I received it via email several months ago after attending the “Inside Elevation” event at Elevation Church in North Carolina. It did exactly what it was supposed to do…make me want to read the rest of the book! This week I was delighted to find a copy of the book on my desk at the office. I am only 4 chapters in at this point, but already this book by Steven Furtick has challenged me to rethink who I say I am.
When God introduced Himself to Moses via the burning bush, He stated His name simply as I AM. Surely Moses was waiting for Him to finish the sentence. We don’t describe ourselves that way – we put qualifiers at the end of those words…
I am tall.
I am a perfectionist.
I am overwhelmed.
I am a mom.
I am average.
God doesn’t need qualifiers – because He simply IS. He is “everything and everyone and everywhere that he needs to be in every moment…You could string together every superlative and exaggeration and still not begin to describe God.” (p. 21) But we need qualifiers – ways to figure out our identities in practical terms. And most often the qualifiers that we use are not positive ones. Yes, we can throw in the generic words – mom, tall, female, American – but when I describe myself – to myself – I usually use critical words. Incredibly, those aren’t the same words that God uses to describe me (more about that after I’ve read Chapter 5!).
Here are the questions that I’m asking myself after reading these first few chapters:
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?
Do I spend so much time and energy trying to be like other people that I never let others see the real me?
Have I grasped the lie of perfectionism? Perfectionism is not progress. The impossibility of perfection is the very reason Jesus died for me!
Do I think and talk and act like the only way God can love me is through the lens of Jesus? (This one blows me away – I often think this way – instead of knowing that God chose to love me before He even sent Jesus to repair our relationship!)
I can’t wait to continue this book. It’s this quote from page 10 that gives me the most hope, and I pray it will give the same to you: “Maybe God wants to do something beyond your abilities, and he is far less intimidated by your failures and limits than you are.”
(You can read part two here!)