“You are a fraud.”
Imagine opening your mailbox – the real one, not your email – and finding those words handwritten on a tidy notecard. What would you feel? How would you respond?
How often do you mentally recite those words to yourself?
A lot of us do. It’s a condition called the “Imposter Syndrome.” I first learned about it from an article by Michelle Kerrigan. She shares some powerful quotes that illustrate this mode of thought.
- “You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie?’ And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”–Meryl Streep
- “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” –Maya Angelou
- “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”—Will Smith
It’s endemic, this feeling of being a pretender, of not being fit for your station. Perhaps you too live with the looming fear that the facades of competence will be ripped away and the world will see you revealed as a charlatan, a poser, a sham?
Take comfort, then, in these words of Paul’s letter: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” (Eph 1:14).
Have you ever had a document notarized? A Notary Public watches you sign the document, and then stamps her seal to signify that your signature is genuine, bona fide.
That’s pretty much what’s going in this passage. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal, indicating that you are really and truly His child. This isn’t based on anything you’ve done or earned. It’s simply God’s good pleasure to extend you His grace through Christ. You may be a screw up, but God seals you as His anyway. You are His.
“You are no fraud. You are not an impostor. You are a child of the King.”
Try reciting those words to yourself instead.