If you’ve spent at least a few months in a church or listened to a few Christian podcasts you are likely to hear a preacher or pastor say, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” It’s become a motivational pulpit pep talk of sorts - meaning you might be called to serve or complete something for the Lord and not feel qualified by way of training, education, or spiritual maturity. There is nothing untrue about this statement and there are plenty of examples in the Bible of the so-called unqualified being called into tasks or positions for which they weren’t prepared.
But more often than not, I believe the modern Christian struggles with a different problem. I frequently hear people (myself included) say they are disqualified from whatever God might have called them to. This is a whole new ball of wax. Being disqualified implies you were once qualified, worthy, or a candidate for something but now you’re not. It’s really an indication of guilt, self-condemnation, and ultimately a disbelief in complete forgiveness made possible by Jesus’s death on the cross. It’s as if to say you are looking up at Jesus and saying “You died for some things but not my things.”
The fact is, God stands outside of time and knows the beginning, middle and ends of our lives. He knows the words we will speak before they roll off our tongues. He knows our thoughts and deeds - not just the past but the present and future. God appoints our purpose knowing all our pitfalls.
God placed Moses in the basket to preserve him for the Hebrews knowing he would murder an Egyptian. He called scrawny, teen-aged David to be king knowing he’d have the affair with Bathsheba. He called Peter into ministry with Jesus knowing full well he would deny Him three times.
This is all not to say that there are things you may not be able to do because you must fulfill a time consequence for sin and demonstrate true repentance. We certainly don’t give the bank robber the passcode to the vault. But that repentant robber is perfectly suited to preach redemption to his fellow inmates. God isn’t going to call you into a task or ministry that would set you up to continue harm to others or yourself - He calls you to glorify Him. All things point back to Him and not ourselves - not our intelligence, skill, number of degrees, talent - whatever.
The next time it’s made clear that you’re being called by God into a new role or position in the kingdom - be mindful of what you say to yourself and others. Be mindful of throwing the yellow flag at that calling because you believe your past disqualifies you. If you have repented, healed, and have a heart for Jesus, God will equip you no matter what others whisper or what you whisper to yourself.