September 13, 2007
5 Ways to Feel Adequate
Do you ever feel inadequate?
I know that a leader is supposed to be self-confident, self-assured, and comfortable with who they are. So, is it okay to admit that I don't always feel that way? Is it okay to admit that I often feel inadequate? I think that may be the devil's greatest weapon to use against me.
The reality is I often feel twinges of inadequacy. I felt inadequate when I was the scholarship student at my affluent high school. I felt inadequate when I didn't fit in with all the other religion majors (who wants to wear khakis and polo shirts anyway!). I felt inadequate when my senior pastor would "help me" realize that any idea of my own was not going to be used. I felt inadequate when I was the only church plant that was not boasting 200 in grand opening attendance. I felt inadequate when I was the only bi-vocational pastor on my district. I felt inadequate when I realize my theology degree was not as useful as a corporate background. The list could go on and on. I will feel inadequate tomorrow.
I feel twinges of inadequacy on a regular basis. Is it a character flaw? A product of my upbringing? Whatever causes it, it is not what God wants for me. It is not what God wants for you!
I think in order to get past the feelings, we have to beat them down every time they surface. It is not a one time fix-all; it is an ongoing commitment.
Here are five things to remember every time you (and I) feel inadequate:
1. Remember God called you. Each time I felt inadequate in a pastoral situation, I had to (and have to) remind myself that God saw something in me. He saw something, and felt compelled to ask me to join Him in leading a church. My call was not just a personal thing that I felt in my room alone; it was confirmed by His church. He would not have called me if he did not believe in me.
Every time you feel inadequate, remember that God has called you to follow, and He believes in you. You are worthwhile to God.
2. Remember God guided your life. I sometimes feel inadequate because I took the route of obtaining a theological education rather than a business degree. Then I remember that I simply obeyed where I felt God was leading me. I enjoyed getting my degree. I enjoyed what I studied.
Here is something I am still learning...no matter what our background, there are still things to learn. Some people have a leg up in certain areas, but you have an advantage in other areas. The secret is to keep learning and growing. You also have to remember that if you have been obedient, God guided your life and steps.
3. God placed you where you are. If God has lead you in the past, God has obviously brought you to where you are. He has led you through the trials, struggles, education, everything. He has used everything you have been through to create the person into whom you have developed.
4. Remember God leads you. This point ties in with the previous two points. God has lead you in the past, and God will continue to lead you in the future. There is no need to feel inadequate because God will lead you in the direction He wants you to go if you will only be obedient. And if you are obedient to God, there is no reason to feel inadequate about where He leads you.
5. Remember God values you. This may sound corny, but God loves you and values you. (And Goshdarnit people like you!). You were important enough for Jesus to leave the royalty and riches of heaven to save. Corny to say, but true nonetheless.
Just a few thoughts that popped into my head as I sat in a conference workshop feeling inadequate because I wasn't trained in this particular area. I only happened to be gifted (ever so slightly) by God in that particular area.
How do you deal with inadequacy?