by James R. Gray
Inferiority is a feeling that just about everyone has experienced at one time or another. In fact, Dr. Maxwell Maltz has estimated that 95 percent of all people in our society feel inferior. Christians, unfortunately, also struggle with feelings of inferiority.
Gary Collins has said, "Theologically, inferiority feelings can be seen as the result of pride and refusal to accept the status of creature. We are inferior to God-not people!"
When a person feels inferior he feels inadequate, insignificant, out of place, unworthy, and incompetent. He may have underdeveloped social skills, have habitual negative thoughts about self, constantly remember prior failures in life, and may over-compensate by trying to convince himself of superiority. He may also be inflexible, perfectionistic, critical, and may act out attention-getting behavior.
But for a person who has been born again, the thoughts or feelings of personal inadequacy can be replaced by the repetition of truth. In Christ there is not simply adequacy but abundance! Replacing ingrained habits with fresh truthful principles leads to real progress. Here are several steps a person can take to move out of inferiority and into confidence:
• Understand who you are and appreciate the fact that God made you.
• Accept yourself and recognize God's unfailing love.
• Develop ways of telling yourself you are worthy because of your relationship with God through Christ.
• Re-examine your goals and personal expectations and make adjustments.
• Avoid destructive influences by establishing some healthy boundaries in your life.
We all encounter times when we feel inferior. By taking the time to pause and meditate on the truth and then applying that truth to our thoughts and feelings, we can accept what we need to accept, adjust to what we must, and acknowledge that we are valuable because we are in Christ. Since feelings follow thoughts, we can overcome inferiority with the discipline of the truth.