“God Doesn’t Call the Qualified, He Qualifies the Called!”

My husband gets up early in the morning, so he is usually in bed by 9:30pm. I can’t quite get myself to go to sleep that early, but going up to bed at the same time each night is something that is important to both of us. So while he sleeps, I watch TV or try to get work done from my phone. I should probably be reading instead…I need to start doing that a lot more, actually.

Anyway, I usually turn on Food Network or HGTV. Sometimes I have shows recorded like EWTN’s The Journey Home or At Home with Jim and Joy. However, the other night I decided to turn on the Protestant television channel and up popped a familiar face. I was sure I would only watch for a few moments but the way the woman on the show spoke, really drew me in. Probably because she reminded me a lot of my husband’s Grandma, who I love. No nonsense, kind of serious but throws in some humor every now and again. Her message for the day grabbed me right away and one phrase she repeated a few times, stuck with me:

“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

I have heard this saying before, but last night it stuck with me and I started to meditate on what this means for me and my life. The woman’s message resonated with me. The topic was that we may feel very unqualified to do the work that God is calling us to do. We may be filled with the urging of the Holy Spirit, but perhaps we don’t know where to start and what we are even doing.

I feel that way a lot, which is probably why my blog gets so neglected. On one hand I feel like I don’t really have the credentials to speak about what the Church teaches and why someone should be Catholic. So I lose my confidence and just don’t write.

On the other hand, I spend a lot of time reading, doing research, listening to Catholic apologetic podcasts, etc. and I know that this desire to know and learn is building up to something. I think all the time, “I should do a post about that!” and then I don’t – but I usually write the idea down for a later date.

I mean, I know why I am Catholic. I know why I am raising my children in the faith. I have had a lot of life experience, which propels me forward and qualifies me to speak to others who are going through, or have gone through similar situations. These are the things I can be writing about. Even though it is hard for me to share those experiences, I have to remember that it could help encourage others.

For example, I am a child of divorce. While I cannot speak for every child of divorce I can share my experience and why that makes me an avid defender of life and the family. I had a father who’s battle with substance abuse finally overtook him. I also happen to be a recovering alcoholic, who just celebrated 20 years of sobriety this year. While I cannot speak for every child of a drug addict – or every recovering or active alcoholic – I can share my story of struggle and hope with others. So they can say, “Well, if she did it, through the grace of God, so can I!”

I have felt hopeless a lot in my life. I used to wonder “why” about a lot of things. Why can’t anything just be easy for me? Why can’t things go my way just for once? Why is everything such a struggle? I pray, I beg, I cry out in desperation and nothing…nothing…nothing. Does God even care what I want? Is he even listening?

Perhaps, if I had heard the stories of others like me, and how God delivered them, then maybe I wouldn’t have felt so defeated. Maybe I am supposed to be that person for someone else.

Joy Filled Catholic

Those unanswered prayers really did lead me to greater things. My mistakes have helped shape who I am and what I value and believe today. God really can bring so much beauty from the ashes. During all those dark times people came and went from my life to serve a purpose and seeds were being planted. While I sat there feeling like a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle, completely pulled apart and mixed up, God was working to connect those pieces — and he still is.

I am thankful to now live the life I always dreamed of. Actually, it is even better than I ever dared to imagine. I feel so unworthy of these blessings but I know that I am now called to share my story and experience with others and do as Jesus instructed the Gerasene:

‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you’”
– Luke 8:39

God delivered me from my “demons”, from all the things that were keeping me from hearing his call for my life. I now realize that God has qualified me to do the work he has set before me. He will continue to qualify me as I travel the path of life, so that I may do his will.

Joy Filled Catholic

Journal idea: Are there things in your life that you felt quite unqualified for, but during your journey you gained the experience necessary to qualify you? You could also make a list of the crosses you have had to carry in your life, or mistakes you have made. How has God worked through you, to turn those experiences into something that could help others?

 

 

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10 thoughts on ““God Doesn’t Call the Qualified, He Qualifies the Called!”

  1. Such a great meditation! I often feel like I’m not really qualified to talk about certain aspects of the faith, but I know that my experiences could be someone else’s and if I can help them then my job is a success. Thank you for sharing this!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your faith with us, Christie. What you say brings Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 2:10 to my mind: ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I, also, love that verse from Ephesians that you noted in your comment and how it beautifully compliments the verses before it. I have heard people quote Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – lest any man should boast.” but leave out Eph 2:10. I love how the Catechism of the Catholic Church shows we need all three verses to fully understand the message (CCC 2005) “Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. 56 However, according to the Lord’s words “Thus you will know them by their fruits” 57 – reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.” Grace encourages us to perform good works, to produce “good fruit” and be God’s hands and feet. We do this out of love for Him and our fellow man. The more we do, the more grace grows. I LOVE that!

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      1. Ephesians 2:10 is left out by non-Catholic Christians who are more concerned with what Jesus has done for them than with what they can do for our Lord in charity and grace when he is hungry, naked, or in prison. These same people omit vv. 1-4 when citing 1 Timothy 2:5: ‘For there is one God and one mediator…’. The truth is we are “fellow workers with God” (1 Cor 3:15). The parable of the vine and the branches refutes the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone. We cannot produce the good fruit which justifies us before God without doing good works in charity and grace. Jesus also suffered and died to merit the graces we need to do good works that please God and justify the soul in His sight. We cannot merit the initial grace of justification and forgiveness by natural works of ours (Eph. 2:8-10), but we can merit for ourselves an increase in sanctification by co-operating with the graces we receive as to be charitable and pleasing to God. I think the parable of the talents is about investing and increasing the graces we receive by using the gifts God has given us to serve Him in His kingdom on earth. We both know how the master rebukes and chastises the unproductive servant who presumes that he has no right to exercise what he believes to be prerogatives that lay strictly with his master.
        Sola Christo is originally a Catholic doctrine and is rightly understood only in a Catholic sense. In reformed and evangelical Protestantism, it has been grossly exaggerated. The faithful are passive spectators, nothing more, who rely purely on Christ’s work on the Cross to be saved and attain eternal life. Good works are merely signs of believing in what Jesus has accomplished for those who do believe in Him, while his merits alone are imputed to the believer’s account for believing in him: a legal fiction. But Jesus exhorts us to “let [our] light shine before men. John exhorts us to “walk in the light as he is in the light.” Only then “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin” (Jn 1:7). We cannot bear the good fruit that we need to be saved without living in fellowship with one another. On the last day, we shall be judged for our charity in grace, not our intellectual assent of faith.

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  3. Amen! Such a thoughtful and informative response. I agree with every bit of it and loved all the verses you sited. I also appreciate that you included the parable of the talents to illustrate the point. As you said, “On the last day, we shall be judged for our charity in grace, not our intellectual assent of faith.” Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your insightful thoughts. We all can better grow in faith by sharing our experiences and thoughts with each other. The parable of the talents does show that we are called to co-operate with the graces and gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit. These graces and gifts do qualify us for Heaven, but we who are called are expected to actively corroborate with the Holy Spirit. Only then are we qualified. So, we can decide whether we wish to be qualified according to the divine standard by accepting the graces God offers us. And this is where our call is as a trying challenge and prayer comes in. Unfortunately, many branches on the vine fail to produce good fruit and wither on it. At pruning time, or the arrival of the harvest, they are cut off and thrown into the fire. The parable of the sower is similar in theme. I’m amazed that Protestants who believe in Once-Saved-Always-Saved fail to see the meaning of these parables and how they contradict their false belief. Perhaps, the idea of eternal security helps repress some deeply rooted anxieties of theirs.

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      1. Yes, I agree with everything you said. You have a wonderful way of articulating the theological errors of believing in the “once and for all” mind set. To me, it has never made any sense.

        The things we go through, the experiences we have, the people we meet, the suffering we endure, God can use all those things to help us to do His will. I have faced hardships and suffering, as we all have, and I could choose to become bitter and move farther away from God, or I could accept His grace and mercy and watch Him work all things for His good. I chose the latter and slowly, but surely my life has taken

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      2. Oops, I wasn’t done. 😊 As I was saying, the more I accept God’s grace and work accordingly with His will, the more grace abounds and I am presented with opportunities to use what I have experienced, to help others, or at least to sow the seeds to that will, hopefully, take root one day.

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  4. I believe the hardships and suffering God permits are meant to serve as trials for us to see or measure how much we love and trust God. The story of Job is a good lesson for us all. He lost everything, including his loved ones, but still refused to curse God, having resisted feelings of bitterness. God was more precious to him than any of the created things that he was blessed with. Without God in our lives, not even the good things in life are blessings. We have been created to live eternally with Him. Our time on earth is but a short passage to determine whether we will live in true happiness with God forever in heaven.

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