Football is a religion in the South, where I grew up. Every boy I knew dreamed of becoming a star quarterback. When my relatives gathered for meals, the conversation usually revolved around whether Auburn would beat Alabama that year.
I felt like sliding under my chair during those moments. I was not a football player—and there was no chance of me becoming one. I didn’t have big enough biceps to throw a 50-yard pass, and I didn’t have the frame to tackle a 200-pound guy. I felt like a wimp. I assumed that when God handed out physical talents, I was stuck at the back of the line.
Thankfully, my lack of athletic skills didn’t cripple me entirely. I had other abilities, like writing. But a cloud of inferiority followed I me everywhere. No matter how successful I was in other areas, I branded myself a failure because I didn’t measure up as an athlete.
It was only though the power of the Holy Spirit that I eventually overcame this painful sense of disqualification. Yet I meet people every day who are slaves of inferiority.
Some feel intellectually challenged; some struggle with a physical disability; others are terrified of speaking publicly because they are insecure about their appearance or weight. Others were bullied or abused, and the cruel words they heard on a playground or at the dinner table were stamped into their brains with an invisible branding iron.
What about you? Do you find it difficult to describe your positive qualities? Are you haunted by labels that were pinned on you by parents, siblings, teachers or classmates? Were you ever called “stupid,” “fatso,” “dunce,” “dork,” “lazy,” “slut” or the N-word?
People can be vicious. Their words can be like knives, and they can leave permanent scars. If inferiority is hindering you in your relationship with God and others, consider taking this journey toward healing:
- Let God change your self-image. The Bible is full of stories of insecure people who ended up doing heroic things. God loves to use “powerless” people “to shame those who are powerful” (1 Cor. 1:27, NLT). Sarah was barren, yet God called her a mother of nations. Moses was a stutterer, yet God called him to confront Pharaoh. David was an embarrassment to his father before he became a king. If you feel inferior, you are in good company!
- Bury the lies you’ve believed. False beliefs will not collapse without a fight. You must identify the lies you believe about yourself, and then renounce them. This is not something you can do alone; you must be willing to talk about your inferiority with a counselor, a pastor or trusted friends.
When I was in my 20s, I asked two friends to pray with me because I felt so inferior. This deep insecurity made me shy and fearful, but I wanted to be confident so I could grow spiritually and discover my calling. That prayer put me on a path toward full-time ministry that has taken me to 36 nations! I would have stayed in my prison of insecurity if those men had not helped me see that God had something important for me to do with my life.
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SOURCE: Charisma News