I’m an imposter. One day someone will realise this and soon after everyone else will see it.
My writing is poor, and what I have to say is better said by other people. I know very little about technology, and I have nothing to share that would improve anyone’s experience. Just watch the average tech YouTuber, you’ll learn so much more. What am I doing communicating ‘wisdom’ on a national Christian radio station every week? Other people make much more sense and speak more eloquently. I’m an easily swayed church leader with little vision and nothing to show for years of hard work. The church I lead needs someone who can pastor better, communicate better, and is a braver decision-maker.
I’ve thought all the above, at various points over the last decade or so and will probably continue to do so into the future. I say this not to garner sympathy or have positive things said about me to try and somehow counter these negative statements. I’m being honest about how I feel at times so that someone reading these words will know they’re not alone in thinking they’re just not good enough. You feel you’re managing to scrape by on the goodwill of others and you’re hoping people don’t look too closely, because those people will see the truth and find you out for the imposter you are.
This, of course, is not true. You are good enough. You are talented enough. People need you for you and for what you bring. But despite those words being said, you still suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
Wikipedia explains Imposter Syndrome as this:
Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.
This syndrome affects most of us at some time or other and to a greater or lesser degree.
Christians are challenged to be more like Christ. We’re to think like Him, to love like Him, to be wise like Him. To turn the other cheek, to never look lustfully at someone, to never give in to temptation, to pray regularly, and to know God’s Word. The list goes on. The bar seems to be set so incredibly high that some days that Imposter Syndrome even makes us doubt how Christian we actually are. Personally, as a leader in the church, this feeling is magnified. We’re we told in the Bible that those of us who teach and preach will be held to a higher standard of judgment. It further says that on Judgment Day, every secret thing will be brought to light. The motives of our hearts will be exposed, and there will be no more pretence or spiritual deception. All this doesn’t sound good. No one will ever measure up, so there’s probably no point trying. But there is a beautiful word, a word that unlocks the prison of doubt and unworthiness that we can place ourselves in:
Imposter Syndrome is stopped dead in its tracks when we understand spiritual grace. When we feel like an imposter, we think we’ll get found out, and we’ll get what we deserve for as much and for as long as we’ve been ‘faking it’. We’ll suffer some karmic rebalancing as the universe sets things right. However, grace is the opposite of what is meant by the word karma. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
In the Christian world view, God extends His grace to us and gives us His unmerited favour. Grace is an essential part of God’s character. Grace is closely related to God’s benevolence, love, and mercy. In His grace, God is willing to forgive us and bless us abundantly, in spite of what we do, not because of it.
The bottom line is that we’re not perfect and we’ll mess up, and we’ll make a bad decision, we’ll say the wrong thing.
Grace is extended to us, are you prepared to receive it? Nothing is expected of you, other than a willingness to take what you don’t deserve, to understand that you are loved and accepted by God. Even if you’re not a Christian, can you extend a similar kind of grace towards others? Can you give without the need to receive anything in return?
- Grace finds the gold in people.
- Grace lifts us out of our mire, out of our pity and feelings of deception.
- Grace defines each of us as individuals of worth.
- Grace encourages us to do our best and to keep going.
- Grace releases us into our calling.
- Grace empowers us to take what has been given to us and trusts us to nurture it well.
- Grace gives us victory over our temptations and our sins.
I am not an imposter. I am a grace-given believer doing what I am gifted to do to show the world the love of Christ. I write with honesty and integrity. I share wisdom given by the Holy Spirit. I lead with bold faith to do what is needed in this season and the many seasons to come. I am a child of God, loved and accepted by Him.
Who are you?