Imposter Syndrome

When you see others walking in a similar calling to you, does it make you question yourself?

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
-Ephesians 2:10

As I grew in my gifting of teaching, I found myself getting downloads from God on messages to share.  Books to write.  Curriculum to drive application home.

When I'm operating in my calling, it's evident.  I'm outgoing, but when it's the Holy Spirit driving it it's a whole other level.  So I lean in to this.  I welcome this.  I want to be used by God.

As I began writing messages, I would come across others who said similar things in their own messages.  And if I'm being honest, it messed me up a bit.  I thought 'but this is something for me to teach.'  (Spoiler alert: I was making it about me.  I just didn't know it then.)

Then I wrote my first book.  I published Do Meaningful Work because there was a clear gap in how we view work and faith.  I clearly saw the outline and how the entire book worked together.  It was the greatest thing, up to that point, that I had seen God work through me.

And then something similar happened.  Two well known Pastors released similar books a few months after mine came out.  They began preaching on it.  And I sat there watching the messages saying 'that's the exact same thing I'm sharing!' (Spoiler alert still in effect.)

I can't be the only one.  Maybe you know how God uses you in your own calling.  If so, I bet you've experienced walking in that calling, and furthermore seeing others walk in similar callings on bigger platforms.

Maybe you dealt with imposter syndrome like me, maybe you didn't.  But for those of you who did, can I share how God dealt with my heart on this?

I knew there was nothing new under the sun.  And I even got, on a surface level, that it was to be about Jesus.  But because I came from a background of performance, I made it about me versus others.  Comparing.  Criticizing me, criticizing them.

That wasn't truth, though.

God spoke to me through a mentor of mine who wisely told me a few key things:

  • God will use many people with a unique voice, but not a unique message.
  • God's Word is filled with people saying the same message over and over (redemption, the coming Savior, the Savior who came)
  • God will repeat these messages on purpose to reach His lost and found.

It was one thing to see that this is about God, but it added depth to see how He has worked and continues to work, His nature.  The difference is knowledge of truth and understanding of truth.  It's one thing to know, it's another to synthesize that knowledge and trust that He is consistent.

So now I've moved myself down, down, down the totem pole.  I'm not the head.  It's not about me.  I'm to be a vessel.  Thank God He even uses me.  And rejoice in others sharing the same truths, not unique messages, because that is confirmation of God at work, not competition.

"...I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
-Psalm 84:10