Imposter Syndrome

How many of us start our first day of our first job saying to ourselves I shouldn’t be here.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  If they knew how little I know, they’d fire me.

In psychology, the term for this is Imposter Syndrome.  Those who have find it impossible to internalize their own accomplishments.  They dismiss their achievements as luck, timing, or the result of “fooling” others.  At its worst, those afflicted by Imposter Syndrome believe themselves to be frauds.  These feelings of inadequacy are especially prevalent among those in higher academic circles, particularly graduate students, men and women alike.

One controversy of the early church (there were several, just like today!) centered around the Jewish people and God’s relationship to them.  Christ has come, some argued.  What about the Jews who do not believe in him?  Paul’s answer in Romans chapters 9-11 is a long and complex argument that we have been reading over the past few weeks.  This Sunday, August 14, the argument boils down to one phrase, Romans 11:29:  for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

I think there are many who feel some level of Imposter Syndrome feelings as Christians. Who am I to go to worship every Sunday? I don’t know enough to teach Sunday School.  Don’t look to me as an example, youth group.

And yet, God has called us, and given us gifts.  Do Imposter Syndrome feelings hold you back from serving and giving as you have been gifted and called?  If so, how can we nail that to the cross, too?

Calling God, what you say and do and give to us will never be revoked–even (especially!) when we make mistakes.  May we live into that Good News fully and deeply.  Amen.

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