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published23 days ago
2 min read

Imposter by Phil

I heard someone on a woodworking podcast the other day mention Imposter Syndrome, how they are viewed as an expert because they have a platform and audience. In reality they know there are many people more skilled and in turn feel under qualified for the attention they receive. These podcasters are not claiming to be woodworking geniuses, they are just sharing their journey, mistakes and all, to hopefully encourage and help others who run into the same difficulties.

That resonated with me in regards to Pam and me and our ministry. I know she is frustrated when people put her on a pedestal as a "super-Christian" because of how God has worked in her life. (I've shared enough of my dumb exploits in this newsletter that my pedestal is very short, at times more of a hole.) We are just ordinary people. We sometimes worry when we should have faith, get impatient when the world doesn't turn our way, put our wants and desires before God's - just like everybody else. Our goal is the same as the podcaster, to share this journey, mistakes and all, to encourage and help you in your personal walk with the Lord.

The term imposter syndrome may have been coined in 1978, but this experience goes back much farther than that. The apostle Paul, who wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament and much of the theology the church is built upon wrote to Timothy, "This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'—and I am the worst of them all." - 1 Timothy 1:15. While for the world the comparison of ourselves to others can be unhealthy and debilitating, for the Christians the honest comparison of ourselves to God's standard is crucial. When we realize how far we fall of the mark, we know there is nothing we can do to earn God's favor - our only hope is his amazing and abounding grace.

I wonder how many times when Peter was guiding the new gathering of believers that became the church, he thought back to that fireside when he denied even knowing his dear friend and savior. Or if Paul, as an old man, could still picture that pile of cloaks at his feet as he watched stones fly at faithful Stephen. Friends, if you feel you're not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough to gain God's approval - you're right. His standard of perfection is very high, but His arms of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness can reach to exactly where you are, no matter how far you've fallen.

As I wrote in a song years ago, "It's not by your merit, what you do or say - God chooses who He uses to do His will His way." God has chosen Pam and me, and he has chosen you - not because we are worthy, but because He graciously allows us to be part of His work, and in the process receive His blessings. As slave trader turned preacher, John Newton, wrote, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."

For an honest Christian, there's no Imposter Syndrome - only truth about our faults and failures... and one more reason to praise our amazingly gracious Lord and Savior.

Here to serve,
Phil and Pam

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