Summary: When we are called by God to any task, we often look at our resources and abilities and we discount God’s resources and abilities. Whenever God calls we must look to Him for the resources and abilities to accomplish what He has asked.
Do you ever feel inadequate? Do you ever feel that maybe you are inferior?
A man paid a visit to his local psychologist. When the doctor asked him what had prompted the visit, the man said, “I’m suffering from an inferiority complex.” Over the next few weeks, the psychologist put his new patient through an extensive battery of tests.
Next came the long wait while the test results were being evaluated. Finally, the doctor called him in for another consultation about the test results. The doctor began, “I have some interesting news for you.” The man asked, “What’s that?” The doctor responded, “You don’t have a complex … you are inferior.”
There is no question that some of us have infinitely more to feel inferior about than others. Abraham Lincoln was wrong: all men are not created equal when it comes to various mental and physical capabilities. But we have more ability and capability than we will ever need. We must not forget that. You see, the power of the human body and mind exceeds anything we can imagine and we only use a small part of what we have at any given time. We are adequate before God for whatever He intends to do with us and through us. In spite of this, so many of us feel inferior.
Some Helpful Observations
I want to make a few general observations about inferiority and then we will look at some examples from Scripture.
First of all, inferiority feelings are not necessarily related to intelligence. In fact studies have shown that people with higher I.Q.’s are often more inclined to have feelings of inferiority. I know that’s true in my case. People with an I.Q. of 130 and above are often the ones who feel inferior. Where people with lower I.Q.’s often do not feel it at all. So inferiority feelings are not related to intelligence.
Next, an inferiority complex is not always noticeable on the surface. Sometimes we hide it. We work hard to hide that we feel inferior. Sometimes we are sarcastic to try to hide our feelings of inferiority. People who are always acting superior or who are especially sarcastic are probably trying to hide their feelings of inferiority.
A third observation, or clarification, is that an inferiority complex is not unique to the non-Christian world. We Christians wrestle with the problem just as much, or perhaps even a bit more, than non-Christians. Some of the most genuine problems of inferiority are often found in the church. That should not be and I will show you why. The main reason is we have God. When we have a confidence in God we are not going to feel inferior.
We need to understand that our growth in Christ is vitally important to offsetting feelings of inferiority.
Three Biblical Candidates For An Inferiority Complex
I want us to look at three men and see how they coped with feelings of inferiority.
READ Exodus 3:1-10
Sometimes we feel inferior because we have a background of failure. That is what was wrong with Moses. We find Moses at 80 years of age on the backside of a desert ... watching sheep. He was living with his in-laws, his wife and three children. He thinks that maybe
• God has passed him by
• that time has passed him by.
• responsibility beyond his own personal family has passed him by.
Then God suddenly appears in his life again.
That happens to some of us. We think maybe we have been put on the shelf when we have been put on the back burner. But then God comes along one day and says let me have your attention.
God got Moses’ attention with a burning bush. At that burning bush God said, “I heard the cry of My people, I have seen their affliction, I have come down to something about it.” Those people were the children of Israel who were slaves in Egypt. Moses had been concerned about that for some time. He grew up in Pharaoh’s home as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. An adopted son. But he did something ... with a right motive but a wrong action. He killed a man in order to try to correct the oppression. He took matters into his own hands and then having messed up he ran from God and man. He tried to hide in the desert. God comes to him and says, “I am going to do something.” Then he says, “I am going to send you.”
When God spoke at the burning bush the only thing Moses heard was God saying “I send YOU.” That greatly concerned him. You see he had feelings of inferiority because for forty years he had considered himself a failure. He tried to do something but he messed up. Now he feels inferior. That is not humility ... it’s inferiority.