When qualifications distract from what’s really important

Our world often gets caught up on the idea of qualifications. As I’m currently going through a job search, one of the most important pieces of any job post is the list of qualifications. Within a few bullet points, I can quickly discern whether or not I have the required experience and expertise. If not, it’s time to move on to a different job listing.

The reason behind this makes a lot of sense. I know when I hired students to work for me in my previous position, I wanted to know about their past experience with sports and writing. I wanted to see if they would be able to quickly pick up on the tasks I needed them to fulfill. And nobody should ever want to hire me with my communication degree to work as a surgeon.

But I find it fascinating to look at these qualifications lists and compare them to the early chapters of the book of Acts. To be honest, the first few chapters of Acts are some of my favorite in the Bible because they show just how quickly and powerfully the hope of Christ spreads when we get out of our own way and allow the message to do the work. On a side note, I encourage everyone to regularly review Acts 2:42-47 and 4:23-37 as a reminder of what we should be doing as the Church.

But back to the idea of qualifications. Here’s the thing: most of the apostles didn’t have any. Jesus plucked people from every walk of life – except the religious elite, the only ones who, by the world’s standard, would have been qualified – to be his closest followers and the people who would lead the first generation of the church after his death and resurrection. To fulfill Jesus’ plan, they didn’t have to have great speaking skills or great education or upbringing and experience. They only had to have an open heart.

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Don’t let society fool you – we all need rest

As human beings, we’re often really bad at picking up signals. The stereotype is this is a guy thing, where men can’t recognize even the most obvious hints, but I think it goes beyond just men. We’re all pretty bad at taking the hint and following it.

History is full of examples supporting this, and even our daily lives reveal the issue. We see this particularly in regards to our current culture and the idea of rest. Our society so strongly promotes nonstop work and effort, a powerful drive to achieve something great to attain fame, fortune, success or whatever else it is you seek. Rest is for the lazy, the week, those lacking passion.

Often we don’t even think about it in such harsh terms. We don’t consciously look down on rest; we just don’t allow it for ourselves. Sometimes this is our own personal choice based on our drive. Other times it’s more of a passive choice that comes in a chosen profession that demands far more than a healthy amount of time and commitment. Either way, we push through because we have goals to achieve and we enjoy the chase. What we neglect to notice is the price we pay.

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