Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever heard of “imposter syndrome”? It’s the persistent fear of being secretly incompetent or inadequate for your job. A lot of us fear being “found out”—having people discover that we aren’t as capable or talented as they think we are. If we’re honest, we’d agree with the prophet Jeremiah, who hears God’s call on his life and says, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young” (Jeremiah 1:6-8). But unlike the truly skilled who suffer from “imposter syndrome,” Jeremiah isn’t wrong about his condition. God doesn’t respond with, “No, Jeremiah! You’re not young, and you do know how to speak! You’re capable and talented and you can do this!” Instead, he tells him not to focus on his inadequacies (v. 7) and to not be afraid, because “I am with you and will rescue you” (v. 8). God doesn’t respond to our fears of inadequacy with reassurances of our strength but with a reminder of his.