by Barbara Latta
As a child, I was shy. I was never the first one to start a conversation, promote a game, volunteer to answer questions or do anything that required being in front of the class at school. Giving book reports or being called on by the teacher caused major stammering and my face reddening to a glow. I had an inferiority complex.
Flip Sides of the Same Coin
Most of us think of pride as arrogance, egotism, or greed because these traits promote self. But someone who feels inferior or shy is also focused on how they appear to others.
To put it simply, pride is selfishness. We are merely concerned about what others think of
us. Whether it’s arrogance or inferiority, they are both flip sides of the same coin. We want to blame our feelings on our personality or genetics, but these are learned traits based on circumstances we have used to form opinions about ourselves.
We are instructed not to think or ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3), but to use the gifts God has put in us to serve the body of Christ. While one who is arrogant may consider he or she should have a higher position, a person who feels inferior may feel they cannot accomplish what they have been called to do. Each mindset is prideful because the focus is not on the kingdom of God. Each person is concerned about the opinion of others. Why should we value another human being’s opinion over God’s? If He is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
God called Moses the meekest man on earth. And the scripture where this is recorded was written by Moses himself. Some would call that arrogant, but Moses was following God’s instructions when recording the words. Meekness is not weakness as most define the trait; but agreeing with God concerning what He says about us. This is true humility.
The gifts God has bestowed upon us have come from Him so who are we to argue with that? The abilities deposited in us are for the purpose of serving one another and lifting up Christ. We are not here for self- promotion, and not for self-debasement.
When we read scripture telling us about our inheritance in Christ and all God has given to us because of His Son’s sacrifice, we will nod our heads in agreement, thankful for eternal life. But when the reality of life comes knocking and we need victory, we beg and plead with Him asking for deliverance. Knowing the riches of His grace are ours now will equip us to overcome circumstances that come against us, but we seldom act on this. We don’t walk in the victory, because we think we can’t.
If we will focus on what God thinks of us the view we have of ourselves will change. Self will become less important and the image of Christ will take over. Pride from both sides of the coin will begin to die and we will know we can do all things through Christ.
What do you do when self knocks on the door?