I often worry about people who feel they’re not worthy enough. Not worthy to associate with certain people. Not deserving enough to express their views and opinions. Not good enough to attend their Church. This feeling of disenfranchisement is of course, totally unwarranted.
When we think about how respected or valuable we are, I’m reminded of the passage from Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
In this passage, we are being encouraged to always think about good and righteous things — to focus on lovely, worthy things that uplift our mind, body and soul. This for me is along the lines of positive thinking in that we should focus on happy, good and honorable things and banish bad, negative things from our lives. If some of our brothers and sisters worry that they’re not worthy, shouldn’t we all come together to correct that mistaken belief? Aren’t we called upon to uplift those who may feel unworthy or who have little self-confidence? Consider Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The “we” are God’s handiwork…not “them” or “he” or “she”…but we, as in every single one of us. Each of us is precious to God and we matter to Him.
That some among us feel less than worthy or “not good enough,” is a travesty — what’s more, people who make others feel this way, should be ashamed of themselves. Each of us is important and no one is above us, nor are they beneath us. We are all God’s children and we are all loved and cared for. The unjustly pious people in our world either feel very inferior themselves, or their hubris has caused them to feel justified in making others feel as if they’re not good enough. What ever the reason, we know that its completely contrary to God’s own Words.
“God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison, Daniel in a lion’s den. Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God, remember: He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal.” — Jon Acuff
People can put themselves up on a pedestal and look down on the the rest of us, but remember, no one said we had to look up to them on their wobbly perch. Instead, we should take pity on them for their arrogance and hubris and recognize that those that put themselves on a pedestal, rarely remain there.
While all of us can benefit from self-improvement — learning something new to broaden our horizons — that is more about developing or enhancing our life by learning a new skill or increasing our knowledge. Personal growth is empowering, but it’s also wholly personal and that means doing what is best and right for our self. With that in mind, I believe that we should never allow another person to make us feel less, just because they have more or may “know” more. To quote the Constitution the founders wrote for the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are…” We are all equal, worthy and valuable, no matter how someone else tries to make us feel.
“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Stop allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions.” – Steve Maraboli