I have been disqualified multiple times. As a child, I
in swim meets for scissor kicking instead of properly executing breaststroke. When you are disqualified, it does not matter how fast you swam, your time does not count. Your time is not even posted on the score sheet, only a “DQ” next to your name, and it doesn’t mean you’re getting Dairy Queen as a reward, but that you still don’t know how to swim correctly despite all the practice, coaching, and lessons your parents paid for.
some kids in my class got pulled into a new class for the “Gifted and Talented,” thus leaving me behind to do normal work while they enjoyed extraordinary activities for the extraordinary kids. I appealed to my mom who appealed to the school who allowed me to take a test in an attempt to qualify myself to wear proudly the “Gifted” title. I took the extraordinary test and confidently waited a few days for the results only to have my mother come in my room one night with the words, “No matter what son, I am proud of you.” I knew she was setting me up for a letdown. Turns out I was an ordinary kid and not qualified for the Gifted and Talented class.
I was disqualified from representing my school at Boys State, a selective educational program for incoming seniors. After being chosen to represent our school, I was arrested with some friends after sneaking out of my house, stealing credit cards from vehicles, and driving throughout the New Orleans area, where I grew up, buying beer to sell to our friends. It was absolutely sinful and idiotic and I deserved the call that said, “You cannot represent us. You are not invited. You have been disqualified.”
So I experienced disqualification because I was not good enough (failed to make Gifted and Talented) and disqualification for being bad (kicked out of Boys State). Both cut deep and are difficult to accept.
Before God, all of us were disqualified. There is a DQ next to every one of our names, next to every single one of us, from plumbers to poets to physicians to preachers. We are not nearly good enough. Even on our best days and in our brightest moments, we fall incredibly short of God’s holiness. To belong to Him, one must be perfect, and we are not perfect, but terribly sinful. We have declared war against God and rebelled against His rule and reign. We don’t deserve to be in His kingdom and we cannot qualify ourselves to enter it. Actually, our attempts to qualify ourselves are offensive to God because we reveal we don’t believe Him to be holy or appreciate His grace. If we think we can qualify ourselves, we have mocked Him by lowering Him to our level.
But God, in His great love and grace, qualifies us. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. If you are His, if you have received His forgiveness, He has qualified you. Though you won’t live perfectly today, He has declared you perfect. His perfect righteousness is now yours as all your sin was placed on Him when He sacrificed Himself on the cross on your behalf.
No matter your sin and your past, you are qualified because you are not the one who does the qualifying. He is the only One who can qualify you, and He has!
Excerpted with permission from How to Ruin Your Life by Eric Geiger. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.