I started backwards with these posts. Part 2 should have been Part 1, and Part 1 should have been Part 3.
The older I get the more simple I want life to be. But life situations often undermine this dream. My own wiring often botches this desire.
If you noticed in Inadequate Part 2, I explained the reasons we often experience inadequacy. The first thought said that “I am inadequate”. The next three stated that “I felt inadequate.” This was not a random choice of words.
There are facts of inadequacy that we might try to refute, but they remain facts. And then there are those “feelings” of inadequacy. And a wise person, I know, has counseled that if we change our beliefs we can change our behavior. The following statements are observations and patterns of thought and beliefs I want to change. Changing how you think is hard, but changing how you believe is a difficult task.
I have struggled with inadequacy because of my own limitations
My faith and watching the person of Jesus in the gospels has enabled me to come to terms with my hard-wired inadequacies. There are just some things I cannot do. I can rest in the fact that the things I cannot do helps define me, but they are not who I am. I have been able to (for the most part) let go of this one.
I have felt inadequate because I allowed others to make me feel that way.
I have the market on allowing myself and others to make me feel inadequate. I forget that the scriptures I trust tell me not to make the comparisons. These thoughts need to be taken captive as soon as they tip toe across my mind. These thought and belief patterns are wily and sly. They sneak in the door
Recently I had to have our computer completely cleaned. Wiped clean. Spyware and viruses had infected the system so thoroughly that a complete cleansing of the registry was in order. This is how I see our feelings of inadequacy. Even now that the system is clean our computer whiz encouraged us to do scans at least twice a month to keep the system clean. How could I not see the similarities? I am attempting to capture my negative thoughts and feelings and hem and quarantine them as soon as possible. Regularly I will have to take them out and examine them in light of who I know Jesus has asked and called me to be. I will need to take them out and look at them in light of who Jesus is. Then they need to be eradicated.
I have felt inadequate when I realized I was living in someone’s shadow.
I have lived in a great many shadows. Some were and are admirable. I have enjoyed their cool shade and protection. Walking in these shadows has allowed me to go places and into arenas I would have never attempted on my own. But there are other shadows that have smothered me. Most were not intentionally doing this. Most were unaware I was even walking there. But some have so overshadowed me that I have forgotten what I looked like. I was no longer able to discern my shadow from the other. I do believe it is fine to walk a while in another’s shadow. The problem comes when we remain there. We cannot remain there. The only shadow I need to abide in is Jesus’. Sounds sappy. (I do not care. Sap is the life blood of a tree. Let the sap run! Another post.) Let me abide in his shadow. Stay there. Only his.
I have felt inadequate because I have accepted and adhered to someone else’s standard or definition.
So often I will toss out my own definitions and standards in exchange for others'. Surely they know more than I? Surely they have found a better way, a better plan, a better method. What did I allow to happen that caused me to think this way? I am not sure. But I have decided that my definitions and standards should be rooted and established in my relationship with God…not the arbitrary ones of others. Easier said than done, but I am trying. Only God’s definitions and standards remain the same. Others change according to moo, circumstance, preference, and interpretation.
How will I deal with my feelings of inadequacy now that I have assessed and analyzed my thought patterns?
I will pray.
“Jesus, my wine is gone. I will do whatever you ask.
Help me in the places of inadequacy that I cannot control. Help me to see my limitations. Remind me of the futility of making comparisons and strengthen me to resist the temptation to indulge in them. Show me how to walk and abide in your shadow. Enable me to discern, accept and respond to only your definitions and standards.
Thank you that you care when the wine is gone. Thank you that you are concerned for us when we are in the middle of our spiritual faux pas. Thank you that you do not leave us to deal with our inadequacy alone.
Amen and amen.”