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One Small Voice: Happy to be an Amateur

An ongoing series of informational entries

By Donna Gauthier

June 2016

I was recently asked what came to mind when I heard the word amateur. Our society tends to think of an amateur as someone who is unknowledgeable or unskilled. Someone who is not quite at the level of a professional or an expert. It often has a negative connotation to it. Most of us would not want to be referred to as an amateur.

I was intrigued to learn that the Latin root for this word actually derives from amare meaning to love.

According to the Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, the word amateur can be found as early as 1794 where it meant “one who has a taste for something” or “lover of.”

It referred to someone who does something purely because he loves it.

I just love this definition! I think we often discount ourselves or our efforts because we’re not “the expert” and we don't feel qualified. We allow fear to hold us back from getting involved. Reaching out to women, sharing the gospel with others, or stepping into broken relationships can be hard and messy. It can be overwhelming to take that first step.

But if we shift our thinking to remind ourselves of WHY we are doing something it can change our whole perspective. We don’t have to have all the answers. We just have to be open and available and allow God to use us. If we wait to get involved until we feel ready or equipped we may never get there. God wants to us to take a step forward in obedience and allow us to be vessels of his love.

Rather than feeling like I am not equipped to tackle a problem as large as human trafficking, I can begin to think of myself as a lover of:

Lover of freedom: I am passionate about an end to human trafficking.

Lover of others: My heart breaks for those who are hurting and broken.

Lover of Jesus: I serve because I love Him and want others to know him.

Yes, I am an amateur. I am a lover of.

Written By New Name Chapter Leader Donna Gauthier, Willow Creek Church, Crystal Lake