The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Something I have noticed to be quite prevalent in the Christian community, but not regularly discussed, is the phenomenon of imposter syndrome. For those of you not familiar with imposter syndrome, the dictionary defines the term as “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.” While being a Christian does not necessarily relate to success in the typical sense, such as winning awards or being accepted into a prestigious school or job, I have noticed imposter syndrome to be present in how we compare the success of our relationship with God to the relationships that others have with God.
If you grew up Christian, chances are you know the person I am about to describe. This person is the face of the church, who everyone knows and loves. The person who is absolutely on fire for Jesus and the person that always has a smile on their face. Nothing is able to instill doubts in them about their faith, and it seems like God is championing their every move, guiding them in the exact ways they need in every situation. (Spoiler alert: I am not this person, although I have encountered a few people like this.)
Seeing people like this makes my heart full, but at the same time, it also makes me question my own faith and relationship with God. Can it be possible for God to care as much about me as He does this seemingly perfect person? I know I have learned that God is forgiving and merciful, but does He really want anything to do with someone who has messed up as many times as I have? Why do I not experience God’s presence during every waking moment as this person seems to? If you have been having similar questions cross your mind, I want to assure you that you are absolutely not alone. I thought that I was the only one feeling like this for a long time, but the more I have reached out to members of my community and been open and honest about my experiences, the more I have realized that these types of feelings are quite common.
One of my favorite verses that I reflect on when I have these feelings is from 2 Corinthians 12:9, saying “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” The point is, if you are a Christian that has been feeling this way, remember, you are enough (and always have been enough) because God is enough. After I thought about it more deeply, I found it quite silly to believe that I, one of seven billion people on this planet, would be the only one that God would find to be unlovable. After all, Jesus was notorious for eating with the outcasts of society: the tax collectors, the prostitutes and many others who the society of the time rejected as sinners.
We have all done things we are not proud of. Every person to walk the Earth aside from Jesus himself has done things they are not proud of. While feelings of imposter syndrome can be a tough challenge to face, remember that it is not about you, but it has always been about Jesus. God knows that we are going to screw up again and again and again. However, this does not mean that our relationship with Him is any less special, nor does it mean that He no longer has love for us. After all, as written in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
It can be easy to compare ourselves to others, to feel like frauds, and to feel as though we fall short of deserving God’s love. But if you are a Christian struggling with these thoughts, I encourage you to remember that the work has already been done: God knows that we are far from perfect, and he does not want us to beat ourselves up about it because he has already given us all the gift of mercy. There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of God, even when you feel like you don’t measure up to others. You are on your own special journey in this life, and God will be with you every step of the way.