Sunday, 1 May 2011

What are you qualified for

Qualifications are important for many reasons. In the case of certain academic qualifications they indicate you have reached a level of knowledge ( or have a good enough memory) to pass particular exams. Others can give a potential employer an indication of achievement from which potential ability may be inferred and still others can point to a level of professional competence that allows you to practice a certain profession. Some are a legal requirement, in the case of certain professions, and rightly so but in other cases they can be given so much 'weight' that you may be forgiven for thinking that you are worth no more than the sum of your qualifications.
Employers write off people they have never seen, irrespective of a whole range of other referenced and demonstrable achievements simply because someone is 5 marks short of gaining a paper qualification. Society always loved to reduce people to something that enables boxes to be ticked and relatively arbitrary decisions made on the basis of them. These decisions, however, which are often made about a person in their youth, can build, or destroy hope and vision for a lifetime. They are not light decisions and they are so often made without ever meeting the person! Made on the basis of qualifications alone which makes many of our processes for people selection extremely monochrome one dimensional and limiting.
Thanks goodness our God sees in multi dimensional colour, always has an expansive, visionary approach and always bases decisions about us based on an intimate knowledge of us. There is a great verse in Colossians where we read about something that no one, through their own ability, cleverness, wealth or passing any number of exams can ever qualify for. This could lead to hopelessness or despair or the feeling of 'then why bother?' until we read: "....giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Col 1:12

When it comes to the critical issues of our eternal future and of our personal relationship with our creator, He doesn't leave us to our own, inadequate, devices - He qualified us, He gives us the requirements for entry, He is our 'A' grade. Praise God that He does not leave us to our own cleverness and does not judge us on the basis of some arbitrary, impersonal measure - He gives us Himself and He is our qualification.

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