Growing up, I wrestled with feeling inadequate. Even though I achieved a lot as a teenager and young man, I was convinced that I was “Mark, the Inadequate.” For example, my dad could fix and build anything along with my younger brother. Not me. I could hardly hammer a nail or saw a straight board. Each time my dad enlisted us to help him with one of his new projects, like adding a room on to our house, I kept hearing in my head, “Something is wrong with me. I’m not like my dad and brother.”
Little did I know at the time, Satan was putting thoughts in my vulnerable child’s mind. Each time we all worked together, they seemed to do everything just right and I did most of them wrong. My feelings of inadequacy only grew. It also happened in other areas of life. Through it all, I kept getting stamped with an identity of being inadequate, and every year it seemed to be confirmed more. Do you see how feelings follow whatever thoughts we believe?
Many years later, God revealed to me who I am in Christ from the Scriptures. These truths allowed me to confront my inadequate feelings. As I did, the lies were eventually replaced with peace and a confidence that I could do anything that God wanted me to do, as long as Jesus lived through me. Philippians 4:19 says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I still get those old thoughts and feelings some days. But, today I have Biblical truth to hold up against those lies.
Like me, you might look to your feelings to tell you who you are. You might have already concluded, “This is just who I am because I’ve always felt this way.” Yet, what we don’t realize is that those feelings are being driven by lies. Satan plants the false idea in our minds over and over, often going back to when we were children.
The Accuser often plants these lies through how our family treated us growing up. He may also plant those lies from terrible rejections we have experienced, including abuse. Or, he can just use a normal situation, putting his twisted spin on it for us to agree with. He will take any opportunity he can find with you, hoping you agree with him! John 10:10 records Jesus saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
It has become mainstream culture to define yourself based on how you’ve felt much of your life. We see it on television, in the movies, in school, at work and in some churches. We also see it every week in our counseling, conferences, training and groups. By the time they get to us, many are being overwhelmed and terrified by these thoughts and feelings that they believe define them.
Feelings are a gift from God. They are one part of our soul. The other two parts are our mind and will. Feelings were given by God to experience love, joy, peace, and more. The scary thing about feelings, which are attached to thoughts, is that they seem like they are telling us the truth, even if they are not.
Be aware of your thoughts and feelings and don’t let your feelings define who you are. Let the Biblical truth of who you are in Christ define whether your thoughts and feelings are accurate.
What are you going to believe this week as the Biblical truth about who you are? What you feel? Or, who your Heavenly Father says you are, when He transferred you from the sinner identity in Adam and into your saint identity IN Christ, giving you a NEW PAST! 2 Corinthians 5:17 is as clear as it gets on this topic when it says,
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
As you talk to your Father each day, remind yourself of who you are in Christ and ask Jesus to fill you with His love and to live through you in the power of the Holy Spirit.