“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

John 15:16 (NIV) 

Sometimes we encounter circumstances in life that shock us, or even confuse us. I recently found myself in such a situation. As a person who has had a relationship with Christ for many decades, I was surprised that I was still shaken by what happened. The interaction left me feeling devalued, humiliated, and grossly misunderstood.   
During a contentious conversation, the other person insisted that I was "not qualified" to even ask a question within a work context. In the moment, the absurdity of the statement caused me to chuckle. “What do you mean I am not qualified to ask a question”, I thought. “Isn’t everyone qualified to ask questions?”  I was shocked by the arrogance of the person’s statement and wondered what gave that person the right to think that their opinion “qualifies” or “disqualifies” me? 
As I reflected more on the experience, I realized the extent of the impact was deeper than I originally thought. The anger I felt about it prompted me to ask myself a question.  Why was I so affected? The more I replayed the conversation in my mind, I realized that many times, such negative messages are often internalized by those who receive them. It is easy to then start thinking of ourselves as not good enough, never good enough, unqualified, disqualified, defective, ineffective etc. That type of message is oppressive and disempowering – which is exactly what Satan intends for our lives.  This is precisely why we must reject it and embrace truth. The truth is, because of Jesus, we are not only justified, but fully qualified for whatever He purposes us for.  
Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This verse means that if God is for me then no one else’s agenda (against me) will prevail, as long as I choose to submit to God’s authority in my life. Jesus says in John 15:16, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you and appointed you…” God chose us, He appointed us, purposed us – and He equips us. We are imperfect, but our imperfections don’t disqualify us in God’s plan. Quite the opposite – He uses our imperfections, our weaknesses to bring encouragement and comfort to others (2 Cor 1:4). God says we are more than conquerors through Him (Romans 8:37). He calls us His handiwork, His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God Himself prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). And in all of this, it is God who qualifies us to “bear fruit” (John 15:16). 
The Bible has a lot to say about who we are in Christ. We must internalize what God says about us and not let ourselves be defined by the opinions of other people or via Satan's lies.  If this is a place of challenge for you, reach out to people who love you.  Get the help that you need to fully internalize as truth, God’s words about you.    

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