We are all tempted to put on a facade to hide our feelings of inadequacy. Our fallen human nature strives to present a perfectly together picture of ourselves to the world.
It can be exhausting to keep up this facade.
In a blog post titled “To the Woman Who Feels She’s Not Enough” on incourage.me, Aliza Latta wants her readers to know the truth that “Because of Jesus you are enough, and worthy, and invaluable.”
When we forget this--which I would wager most of us do very often--we tend to replace a Biblical view of self-worth with a much smaller, and even harmful, worldly one.
This then becomes a slippery slope down the path to having idols in our lives. Depending on where you feel your inadequacies lie, these idols may be beauty, money, fame, intelligence, and any number of things we feel we lack but others have, and which the world says we need.
During times of feeling inadequate, worldly wisdom tells us to boost our self-esteem by remembering that we are special, that we have many talents and abilities.
This, however, as I wrote about in “How Can I Conquer My Insecurity” merely serves to stroke our pride and does nothing to address the root issue of from where we believe our value comes.
In her article “Biblical Self-esteem” for Crosswalk.com, Kate Motaung says that helping someone with issues of self-esteem should invovle more than building up their ego.
“If a friend comes to you in need of an ego massage, do her a favor and don’t give her one. Instead,” says Motaung, “paint her the most beautiful picture you possibly can of the glory and majesty of the One she serves. Elevate Him, not her. Help her to rest secure in His love, in His grace, in His mercy, in His presence, in His power, in His ability, in His promises…not in the need for approval from a hostile and fallen world.
This echoes what Latta says is the only true remedy for conquering issues of self-worth.
“Not for one moment do I believe that Jesus wants us to think we’re inadequate, or not enough,” says Latta. However, she continues, the cure for feelings of inadequacy is to focus on Christ, and not ourselves.
“We can rest and shake off our burdens and curl up at the feet of a God who is madly and passionately in love with us. A God who’s got this — all of this, no matter what your “this” might be. No more masks or fake confidence or pressure-filled days. Instead may we be vulnerable and free.”
One of Scripture’s most tender verses of encouragement is a call from Christ to His children to find rest in Him from all of life’s burdens, which could easily include the heavy burden and constant pressure of trying to live up to the world’s expectations.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
The struggle to remember that our worth comes from Christ will be an ongoing one, but it should give all Christians hope to know that we are more loved just as He created us than we ever dared imagine.
Publication date: December 2, 2015
Veronica Neffinger is the editor of ChristianHeadlines.com