Do you suffer from feelings of inferiority? They can inhibit your growth toward God's Kingdom! Here's how to overcome these feelings.
Do you feel inferior or inadequate? Do you shrink back from growth opportunities because you are afraid of failure? Do you feel uncomfortable around people who are in the habit of accomplishing worthwhile goals? Do you look at new opportunities as threats rather than challenges? Be honest with yourself. It is easy to be victimized by feelings of inferiority. We have been called into God's Church to grow in character and ability. God desires that we bear much fruit, "some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matt. 13:23). But feelings of inadequacy can severely inhibit this growth. The man who was given one talent was a victim of this attitude. He became fearful. He wouldn't step out in faith. Instead, he hid his talent in the earth and incurred his master's displeasure. His master called this man wicked and lazy, and took away his talent (Matt. 25:24-28)! Do you suffer from this attitude and are you in danger of losing your reward because of it?
Why feelings of inferiority?
Most people in the society around us have been conditioned to feel inferior, some more so than others. Attitudes like "What's the use? I can't succeed," "I'm no good" or "I just don't fit in" are not limited to anyone age group, intelligence level, race, sex or social standing. Even great men like Moses (Ex. 3:11 4:1, 10) and Jeremiah (Jer. 1:6) let feelings of inferiority temporarily inhibit their personal growth. But why? Satan's society is based on wrong competition at every level. And what is the result of this competition? Yes, it produces some winners — but it produces many losers as well, and losers are made to feel useless and less important than others. Consider how this happens, even from birth in some cases. Perhaps a child is not really wanted by his parents. How does that affect him? His needs for parental attention, approval and guidance are unfulfilled. It makes him feel inadequate. Then he faces his peers in school. Children can be very cruel, and he might be put down, shunned or overlooked. Then there is the working world. What is it like? In most cases there is a frantic race to see who can get to the top, and it doesn't matter what means are used to get there. Gossip, slander, ridicule, backstabbing and corporate power plays are all accepted by people in Satan's society as legitimate means of getting what they want. Frustrated by the struggle to overcome these adversities, a person is prone to simply give up. What a tragic defeat of the potential of human beings is brought about by the world's warped system! God's way of life is different! It seeks to build up, to strengthen. Right competition develops and sharpens character rather than hurting people (Prov. 27:17). God has begun a work in us that will last until the return of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6). God is not finished with us yet, and none of us needs to feel frustrated or inadequate when we realize this. Another danger we all face is failing to accept our individuality. In a world that reduces human identity and significance to a mere number or hole in a computer card, it is easy to understand why few people understand who they are. Yet our elder brother Jesus Christ knew exactly who He was, what His purpose was, when He needed to be on earth, where His Work was to take place, why He was necessary and how to accomplish His goals! And we are told to follow His example (I Pet. 2:21). Just as Christ understood His role, we need to recognize our roles and realize that each of us is different. By reason of inherited genetic traits and social, school, work and family environments, we all have different abilities. We each excel in some areas, while we have limited ability in others. God knows that. But God honors individuality. He describes His Church as a Body having different parts, each with a different job (I Cor. 12:14-18). God has called many together, each with varied abilities to serve the Body as a whole. Though the foot doesn't serve the same purpose or work in the same manner as the eye, they both are essential to the body. We need to deeply understand this message of I Corinthians 12. We don't all have the same abilities and shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone except Jesus Christ. Next to Him, we all fall short. It really boils down to what you choose to think about yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. You can stop the plague of self-doubt and go to God for His power. You don't need the approval of anyone except God. Face the fact that you're not going to be great at everything, and don't try to be something you're not. Identify your weaknesses and try to strengthen yourself in those areas, but don't be overwhelmed by them. To feel inferior is not to be humble. Humble people have the highest degree of confidence in God (Luke 14:11, I Pet. 5:6).
Look to God for confidence
Answering our calling involves making the transition from feelings of inferiority or self-confidence to godly confidence. God wants us to look to Him for strength. The apostle Paul made this transition. He no longer valued confidence in himself (Phil. 3:4-7), but looked to God for His power. "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:11-13). It was Christ who strengthened Paul. Christ gave him the power to face whatever circumstances arose in his life. How precious is godly confidence!
Our elder brother Jesus Christ knew exactly who He was, what His purpose was, when He needed to be on earth, where His Work was to take place, why He was necessary and how to accomplish His goals! And we are told to follow His example...
How reassuring it is to know that the mind of Christ can help you face any situation positively. Paul exhorts us to "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). Having Christ's mind is essential to overcome feelings of inferiority or reliance on self-confidence – confidence that excludes God. But how do we build the mind of Christ, so we will have godly confidence? The mind of Christ is a product of God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). The Holy Spirit is given to us upon repentance, believing God's truth and baptism (Acts 2:38). Then we have the mind of Christ. But that mind must be developed, just as the natural mind must be educated to become knowledgeable. The spiritual mind goes through a process to become spiritually mature. We do not attain full character development instantaneously. Christians can lack godly confidence because they fail to develop their spiritual minds. Certain experiences are needed to develop the mind of Christ. New ways of thinking must replace the old ways. A mind filled with godly confidence views life with a special positivity. It is a viewpoint attained through contact with God, right experiences and acknowledging truth. A primary requirement is seeing the truth about ourselves. People often develop a false picture of themselves as they grow up. Some become filled with an inflated sense of their abilities. Others deny their self-worth. Have you ever been around a person who won't accept a compliment? That person may not believe what he is being told. He thinks differently about himself and therefore rejects the compliment. On the other hand, some people reject deserved criticism because they refuse to see themselves as they really are. Without a true picture of ourselves, we will have trouble developing godly confidence. Satan wants us to have a distorted picture of ourselves so that we ignore our awesome potentials. What are you truly like? Are you really what you've always believed? Assess yourself. The mind of Christ is a mind of truth, not deception (John 14:17). Have you asked God to allow you to see yourself as He sees you? Be honest with Him in all ways and you'll attain a deeper state of conversion. We must also understand the power of God working in us. The mind of Christ removes a lot of human limitations. Christ's disciples were startled to hear about the requirements for salvation. They felt humans were inadequate to be saved. But Christ revealed God's power: "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26).
Experience the power of God
You must go beyond merely seeing the truth about yourself and acknowledging the power of God. You must begin experiencing it! This is where many fail. They won't step out in faith. They hold back, fearing failure, not realizing they have already failed by not trying. You make the transition to godly confidence when you surrender to God. Then God's power will flow through you. Look at David. His confidence was built by slaying a lion and a bear. This gave him the courage to face Goliath. David's confidence was further enhanced by defeating Goliath. Eventually he had the confidence to rule a nation. Understand, it was not his confidence, but confidence that came from God by living through faith. Our confidence can grow this way. We can grow in the confidence of God to someday help Christ rule the world. Consider Peter. He was a fisherman by trade. Speaking before a crowd was probably a frightening experience. Serving Christ was difficult at one point in his life. As a result, he rejected Christ three times (Matt. 26:75). But look how the Spirit of God — the mind of Christ — transformed Peter on the day of Pentecost. What happened? Peter spoke boldly to the multitude. Three thousand were converted by the power of his message (Acts 2:14-41). That is an inspiring example of the confidence that can be generated in us. Cry out to God in heartfelt prayers, intense Bible study, meditation and fasting for the needed strength to live your Christian life. With this strength you can step out in faith and achieve worthwhile goals. The basis of Christianity is overcoming (Rev. 3:5). It is a way of life that builds confidence because we experience the power of God working in us, helping us to push back our former limitations.
Accept God's love
One of the most powerful ways to eliminate feelings of inadequacy is to accept the love of God. Realize how strong God's love for us is! Consider our remarkable calling. The vast majority of mankind throughout history has never had the opportunity to know God's way. We are indeed a special group to God. Our calling and the hope of eternal life ought to overshadow any other conditions we are experiencing now, because these experiences are only temporary. Even poor health or poverty should not create feelings of inferiority in us. God may be allowing these conditions to fulfill an important purpose in our lives. We need to keep the negative factors in our lives in proper perspective. Many times our sufferings engender feelings of inferiority in us. But notice how Paul said negative conditions are to be viewed, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).
How precious is godly confidence! How reassuring it is to know that , the mind of Christ can help you, face any situation positively... Having , Christ's mind is essential to overcome feelings of inferiority or reliance on self-confidence...
This is God's viewpoint. This is the mind of Christ. It is the mind we need! Too often we fail to properly value the privilege of our calling into God's Church and Work. Instead, we worry about how our physical conditions compare with those of others. When we do that, we set ourselves up to be victims of pride or inferiority or both. And we may be guilty of making wrong assessments about other people. Christ pointed His disciples to the fantastic honor of having their names written in heaven (Luke 10:19-20). Having your name written in heaven means you qualify to be in God's Family. That ought to give a person great confidence! When we lose sight of our human destiny, we weaken ourselves. We place confidence in this uncertain, temporary life. We lose the power of God. Our partnership with God is dependent on our confidence in the hope of eternal life (Heb. 3:6). When we feel of value to God, the most important Being in the universe, it becomes easy to value ourselves. Nothing can stand in the way of our maintaining confidence because we have the most important thing in life — contact' with God. Temporary setbacks or losses do not destroy us. We do not give up like people in the world who have nothing to live for when their physical lives are disrupted. Instead, we are thankful for the experiences that show us how important the things of God are.
The power of godly confidence
Nothing can shake truly godly confidence. If we have this confidence, nothing will discourage us or make us feel inferior or inadequate. The power of our relationship with God is seen in the words of Paul: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:35-39). We who are not cut off from God need to capitalize on this relationship with Him so that it builds and sustains our confidence. We need not be victims. We can be survivors of this world's system. Our lives can be filled with something different. If we work to build into ourselves the mind of Christ, we will be able to experience the joy of godly confidence.