Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
If there is a secret fear that many of us have, I’m sure it would be this: feeling that “I am unworthy”.
It’s a secret fear that we will never talk about – but plenty of others have written articles you can read anytime on the web. It’s more than just a sense of failure; we feel disconnected, alone, inadequate, and feeling ‘I will never be good enough’.
I wonder how many of us are crippled with those negative, destructive thoughts. We may pretend everything’s okay, but we know – deep down – it’s not. We feel we probably never will measure up. Unworthiness is a feeling of being “lesser” or of no value. Its opposite is the feeling of being “superior”.
I think we need to learn to have compassion for ourselves. Yes, we’ve made mistakes, and perhaps some big ones. Challenge your thoughts and test this. It may be you’re afraid of taking risks in case you fail. It can go back to childhood when your parents said, “You’re a bad boy or girl”, and you took it to heart. They said it – it must be right.
Hopefully, life’s experiences have shown you that you’re not a bad person, and your parents were wrong. You’re not a bad person.
Unworthiness is not something we are. It is a state of mind. It often comes up as a reaction to a situation or other people: “I’m broke, or they like her more, so I must be unworthy.” Unworthiness is simply part of our programming. Just like if we always get angry in certain situations, we will find ourselves feeling unworthy in certain situations.
Let the Bible help you reverse this destructive pattern and turn your life around. You don’t need to stay stuck in this thinking that is negative and hurtful.
Here are six steps, thanks to Lindsay Snyder at the I Believe website, that will help you in this area.
1 – Know That God Really Does Love Us
We have to know deep down that God really does love us! God loves us, .. yes it sounds so cliché. But why is it so hard to remember? Why does it seem distant and hard to really grab onto sometimes? Probably because the idea of an intangible, seemingly busy God loving us doesn’t make a lot of sense. But try to think about it like a real relationship. God, who can’t be seen, can be experienced in our daily lives. He loves you and has given you the Bible, where many writers express their love for God. For example, “Because Your love (God) is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:3). And 1 John 4:19 says we must learn to receive His love, because “We love only because He has first loved us”.
2 – Know That God Is ‘For’ Us
We have to know deep down that He is for us. As life continues to beat us up, we have to remember that life will do that, but He is for us, He is our refuge, our strength, our ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), His Spirit is kindness, love, self-control, joy, peace, gentleness and patience (Galatians 5:22-23). We do have an adversary and we live in a really broken world, with lots of other really broken people, but He is a good Father. We have to shout that from the rooftops, especially when life looks like it is going the other way. We have to encourage ourselves in the Lord and use His Word as a battle weapon to fight the good fight and shout His truth over our very own lives when we least feel like it.
3 – Know That God Is Good
We have to know deep down that God is good. It is His kindness in the middle of our mess that we need to look for and be thankful for – and keep at the forefront of our hearts. We need to see the good in our life and yes, sometimes that means fighting to see it. We all have good and we all have bad, let’s be real, but there is power in recognising the good and hanging on to that even through the bad.
4 – Pray for God’s Will to Be Done
We have to pray to let Him have His way. We pray and ask for our desires, and then we release and surrender our will to His perfect will. Yes, it’s not always easy to surrender to God – but as we do, we are reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness in our past and hanging onto hope for our future. It really means, at the end of the day, letting go and saying ‘God, you know best, so it’s your way – not mine.’
5 – Let Others Speak Into Our Lives
We have to let others speak into our lives without being offended. And then ask God, “Is there anything to learn here?” I came across a quote from Graham Cooke that says, “Love the learning in every situation”. Each and every moment of the day you are having experiences, and you are the one who chooses what to do with them. Each experience, no matter how unimportant, offers you a chance to learn some kind of lesson. Enjoy the journey, walking step by step with Jesus, surrendering moment by moment to His will, because you know He loves you, He is for you and He is good.
God can speak through all situations – big and small. I encourage you to seek the learning, look and listen in every situation for what He might want to show you, to free you from.
6 – Know We’re Adopted by a Perfect Father
We have to believe that we are adopted by a perfect heavenly Father, who deems us worthy. He deems us worthy! That’s what really matters. We are valuable because of who our Heavenly Father is, no matter what others may say about us.
There are people who have had some very bad things said to them and done to them over the years. They have been told they are not worth anything, or that they are stupid, or ugly, or all sorts of unkind things. And, as much as they hurt us, we keep carrying them around.
We need to get rid of these things so we can live and focus on God rather than to keep living and focusing on our past hurts. The only way you can get over these things is by realising that you are so special to Jesus, that He makes you a joint heir to the kingdom of God with Him. When we say, “I can’t see my value because of all that has happened to me.”, God says, “I can see all your value in spite of all that’s happened to you”.