In addition to writing for OUTLOOK, I am a freelance writer for many publications, businesses, and websites.

For years, when people asked me what I did for a living, I’d simply say “I do some writing” or “I write blog content for small businesses”.

To say “I’m a writer” would give people the wrong idea. They’d want to see my book at Barnes & Noble. They’d want to look me up right away. They’d give me the look of awe for a moment, but it’d dissipate when they’d realize I only write “online content”. This isn’t real writing.

It’s almost worse now. I’ve written enough and earned enough of an income through writing that I can confidently say “I’m a writer”, but this comes with issues as well. Now people ask me what I write.

“I write for some religious and inspirational outlets.”

“I write for some small businesses across the U.S.”

“Right now I’m doing a fun project for [insert current fun project].”

Then, the inquisitive person wants to see these things that I’ve written.

The problem with claiming a belief, occupation, or membership with an organization, is you allow others to scrutinize your membership, capabilities, or position.

Imposters in the Church

Imposter syndrome is a real emotion that stops very successful and capable people in their tracks. The American Psychological Association defines it as “a very real and specific form of intellectual self-doubt. Impostor feelings are generally accompanied by anxiety and, often, depression.”

Individuals experience imposter syndrome when they feel the need to meet and exceed the expectations of others.

This crippling feeling of inadequacy can occur in the church among new members or those who have recently taken on a leadership role.

A new Christian who has discovered the beautiful truth of Jesus most likely comes into the church with this same feeling of inadequacy. Then they have enormous pressure from the “church” to adhere to specific church guidelines and doctrinal beliefs.

When this happens, the new and tenuous relationship with the Gospel can be overshadowed by the expectations of the church.

The new Christian who may already feel like an imposter among “experienced believers” has his or her fears realized when an innocent altruist points out something they’re doing wrong.

Stumbling Blocks and the Christian Walk

I think many Christians feel the need to correct others (even new Christians they may not even know) so that they don’t become a stumbling block to others. Unfortunately the correction may be a stumbling block for the new believer!

If you aren’t in a relationship with the person you’re trying to teach or correct, you may become a stumbling block to a longtime believer.

We are all imposters, made worthy only through Jesus Christ.

Do you sometimes feel like an imposter? It’s okay! It’s in times like these that you should cling closer to Jesus.

Growing closer to your Creator can solve your identity crisis, direct you to your purpose, and help anchor you when others make you feel unworthy.

The church doesn’t make you worthy of salvation. People thinking you’re a Christian won’t make you worthy of the Kingdom. Keeping a set of rules created by man will not make you worthy of Christ’s love.

Who makes you worthy to be part of the body of Christ? He does.

I hope no one has made you feel like an imposter in your home church. If you feel this way, reach out to a trusted Christian friend–someone who knows you and loves you, but also someone who will point you toward Jesus.

If you don’t have a friend like this, find one. Jesus had twelve.