How often do we confuse humility with inferiority? C.S. Lewis said that true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”
For as long as I could remember, I misunderstood inferiority as humility. I had a lot of insecurities growing up. However, I thought it is much safer to act that way than being an overbearing person.
As the word of God rebukes me daily, I have learnt that both inferiority and pride are no different. They serve a common purpose: hindering us from working effectively on God-given mission in our life.
1.Same Thing, Different Packaging.
Just like pride, inferiority make us become so full of ourselves. We may defend ourselves by saying, I'm not showering myself with self-glorification. Rather, people should feel sorry for me because I felt suffocated with self-criticsm. But, guess who the center of that problem is. It is still me, myself, and I. While the proud craves for the spotlight and praise, the inferior yearns for comfort and reassureance. Different routes, with the same destination; both leads to the “look at me” mentality. Hence, we forget to fix our eyes on task we are commissioned to do; on the rocky, long road to love God and His people. Our energy is already drained by the exhaustion of self-doubt and the constant thirst for validation.
2.C.S. Lewis said that true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”
Contrary to the popular belief, Christian humility is about self-forgetfulness. It is what Jesus stated as “die to oneself.” The humble ones realise that the world does not revolve around them. When we think about ourselves less, we are free to think about Christ more. This is our goal, to completely find contentment in the steadfast love of God. We do not hang on others for being sufficient and whole.
Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash
Focusing too much on our imperfections only leave us stuck. Moreover, we will get trapped in the endless game of comparison with people. We struggle to celebrate others’ succes because we view them as competitor.
This evil cycle later brings us to a greater isolation. While the proud alineate themselves by rejecting certain people and live exclusively, the inferior also build the very same wall when they feel like we are never good enough for anybody.
We are crippled by fear to make authentic connections. We are skeptical when dealing with vulnerability. Whereas, a redeemed believer is called to be inclusive, relevant, and open-armed; just like what Jesus had done.
Again, in whichever type we are, both distance ourselves from God and other people. Both are busy curating life here and there so that our cracks could stay unseen.
3.Greatly Used On The Hand Of The Almighty.
Psychologically speaking, our inner self—including our inferiority—is indeed influenced by complex factors. One of them is the way our parents raised us.
I could relate to this theory. Growing up in an unstable home environment, I never really felt secure throughout my childhood. All these times, I used to put my worth around the reality of my family. Without me realising it, I often blame my background for causing my self-loathing, my self-defence, and so forth.
As I learnt the biblical truth about human identity, I found another deeper root that truly damages our core being, that is, the reality of sin. We all are prone to this. The entire world suffered of its impact. And for this very issue, Gospel is the only medicine.
Photo by Robb Leahy on Unsplash
I do not mean to simplify our mental chaos by saying that the Holy Book will solve all problems overnight. Currently working at a counseling center, I witness how many Christians, especially the servants of God, come to our office with various inner struggles.
However, it is critically important for us to know that we have a choice to change the narrative. We can unlearn false beliefs that we have absorbed for far too long. We are capable to bounce back from our learned helplessness. We base our value on who God says we are: imperfect creatures who perfectly loved by their Creator.
In his book titled The Gift of Being Yourself, David G. Benner wrote, ‘There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self, and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God.’
We were created in the very image of God. The process of sinking more and more unto the depth of scripture is fundamentally crucial to enable us anchoring our brokenness back into His wholeness.
I find it somehow liberating; to slowly learn to make peace with myself and its reality. Thereafter, I need to step out in faith that God can make something out of my imperfections.
Our Bible has showed us many living testimonies about this. Moses, Jeremiah, Peter, all of the giants faith also stumbled on self-doubt when they first received God's calling. Yet we know the rest of the history. They were greatly used in the hands of the Almighty.
4.Christ is Enough for Me
While writing this article, I was listening to a song from Hillsong Worship titled “So Will I.” There is a part of its lyrics that resonates to me personally:
"And as Your speak,
a hundred billion galaxies are born.
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form.
If the stars were made to worship so will I..."
I visualised this song by recalling some memories when I was traveled by plane, sitting near the window. There was an intense sense of insignificance as I was observing the wide blue sky and the green islands down there.
Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash
At that moment of awe, I tried to imagine how passionately God must be when He crafted the mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. Suddenly I felt like I was just one tiny little dust compared to the entire wonders of this universe.
The strange part is, instead of making me feel unworthy, that beautiful scenery reminds me that He is the same Lord who fearfully and wonderfully made me in my mother's womb.
That great God personally knows me, see me, and take care of me, 'til the point He gave everything that He has for me. That great God, who once emptied Himself and left the glorious throne to came as a human, bore the death for the sake of my sin.
Stunned by that specific memory, I grasped a new realization. If such sacrifice were not enough to make me stand in a true balance confidence in Christ, I wonder what else would do. If such God were not enough to prove that I was already accepted, forgiven, and loved, I wonder who else had to come and convince me again.
I gradually learned that Christ, after all, is enough.
It may takes a lifetime to really wrap our life around that truth, but let’s put our hope on the Author and Finisher of our faith.
5.Look up To The Cross
At times when feelings of inadequancies shake me again, I remind myself to directly run towards God instead of wallowing in self-pity.
I choose to worship and let His name calm my inner storm. Though sometimes my adoration gets mixed with fears and tears, I know His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in my weakness. Of course it is okay that sometimes we feel scared and weak, but always remember the keyword: look up.
Look up beyond yourself! Look up beyond your feelings!
Look up to the need of other people that we serve. There we will find our being could make a difference in someone’s life. Most importantly, look up to the cross. There we can find a rare kind of love that lavishly overflows to cover our past, our shame, and our hurt.
And when God calls us to go out of our shell: to serve, to give, to love far more than what we can imagine—even in a strange and uncomfortable teritorry—may we all be confident enough to receive such a calling without any second guessing.
Christ alone is our perfect assurance. Remember how worthy we are in His eyes of love.
In Christ alone, my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground.
Firm through the fiercest thought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace.
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All.
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
(In Christ Alone, Keith Geitty & Stuart Townend)
Untuk menjadi bagian dari gerakan generasi
muda Kristen Indonesia. Kirimkan karyamu ke: