I love reading the “Girlfriends in God” devotionals each day. There is always a fresh perspective on seeing everyday life through someone else’s eyes.
As I read this morning’s devotional I was struck by Mary Southerland’s statement that feeling inferior was a sin. As she explained it “I had allowed the sin of inferiority to rule my life. Pride and inferiority are the opposite sides of the same coin of preoccupation with self. And both are sin.” Mary is one of the co-founders of “Girlfriends in God” and well-known author and speaker at women’s conferences.
The thought that inferiority was a sin had never crossed my mind before. I always thought that was just how I was, right along with feelings worthlessness, abandonment, unloved and always in the way. Of course, none of that was allowed to show to the outside world! It wasn’t until I asked Jesus to come into my life did I realize how miserable I had been.
Have you ever had a wart? When it’s just starting we don’t even know it’s there. Then as it gets bigger we say “Oh look, I have a wart!” We try to get rid of it by pretending it doesn’t exist and covering it up but the thing continues to grow until someone says “What’s that thing growing on your face?” Then we realize what we’ve been trying to hide has been obvious to everyone else all along. Now are we going to continue to try to ignore it, or are we going to deal with it.
I didn’t fully understand at the time I asked Jesus to come into my life how good a “wart cleaner” He was! Swoosh, the sins are gone but some of the wounds they leave behind take time to heal. He cleansed the sin of inferiority but the effect took several more years to get rid of.
You see, I was using all those feelings of worthlessness as a wall to hide behind. I had been hurt so much as a child and teenager that I couldn’t take anymore. So I shut my feelings and my heart behind a wall so thick and tall and wouldn’t let anyone close enough to hurt me.
One day I opened the door just enough for Jesus to squeeze in then slammed it shut again. “Don’t you think it’s a little tight in here?” He asked. “Do you mind if I move the walls out just a little?” Jesus is such a Gentleman! He will never just take over your life without your permission. OK was my reply and each day He would ask again if He could move the walls out just a little more.
Finally on February 26, 2010 at a Unidos en Christos’ (more information on UEC below) weekend women’s retreat, I prayed and asked God to finish breaking down the walls around my heart. I actually felt the door to my heart being smashed to splinters and the walls being ground to dust!
I had finally gotten the head knowledge down into my heart that I was truly loved by God and He would never, ever hurt me as others had in my life. He would protect me and be my Comforter when attacks would come. And they would come, but I no longer had to be afraid of them or face them alone.
Now almost two years later, I can see how far He has so lovingly and gently brought me. I can look back and see the work He started, oh, those so many years ago. I can see those negative feelings for what they were, a preoccupation with self. Sin by any other name whether inferiority, pride, low self-worth, whatever, is still sin and must be confessed as such.
Dear Father, I finally understand the work You have been doing in my life. You have been picking away at the scabs of my hearts wounds, opening them and healing them. Forgive me for using feelings of worthlessness, abandonment, inferiority and all the rest to hide from the world and You. I confess all of these as a form of pride that allowed me to focus on myself instead You. Thank You so much for lovingly bringing my heart more fully in tune with Yours and for the continued healing You are doing there and for forgiving me. In Jesus name, Amen.
*More on Unidos en Cristo: Unidos en Cristo (UEC) is a structured, three-day weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and bring them to a new and more active awareness of living in God’s grace.
It is for people at every stage of their journey with Christ. It is for married couples and for single men and women. It is for anyone wishing to deepen their relationship with Christ and those around them. For more information go to http://www.unidosencristo.com/index.html
There are even weekends for teens.