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The Fear of Inadequacy

The Fear of Inadequacy
#facingfearPhoto by Reinaldo Kevin on Unsplash

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There are some fears that bind us together as humans beings. We are afraid when things change or when they remain the same too long. We fear the unknown.

Anything that we don’t understand, we tend to look at it with distrust and a tinge of fear. 

Common Fears

We fear getting hurt or being judged by our peers. We are afraid of losing control of our emotions, or worse, our actions. A CNBC article lists ten common fears that hold us back from success.

  1. The fear of inadequacy
  2. The fear of uncertainty
  3. The fear of failure
  4. The fear of rejection
  5. The fear of missing out
  6. The fear of change
  7. The fear of losing control
  8. The fear of being judged
  9. The fear of something bad happening
  10. The fear of getting hurt

Over the next few days we'll spend some time looking at each of them.

Fear of Inadequacy

The Cambridge Dictionary defines inadequacy as:

·        the fact that something is not good enough or is too small in amount

·        a lack of confidence that makes you feel unable to deal with a situation

I’m going to make a guess and say we’ve all felt inadequate about something. Maybe it was about the clothes we wear, our level of education, our grades, where we came from, our backgrounds. This world judges people based on standards that are always changing. It holds a powerful magnifying glass on all of us and judges us based on its criteria.

Oh, it’s not always the same things as standards are based on culture or geographic location. It can be based affiliation or wealth. There's always something trying to make us compare ourselves to each other.

The world can make us feel “less than” if we let it.

Now, I know you’ve probably heard the saying that ‘no one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them’. And maybe you believe it, most days, but it’s cold consolation when your fear of inadequacy rises up. So, I’ll tell you something that maybe you never thought about before:

Jesus was thought to be inadequate too.

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Oh, the horror! I can see your faces now. How dare I claim that the Savior of the world was inadequate. That’s not what I’m saying. Inadequacies, and the feeling of being inadequate, has to do with expectations.

The moment that mankind sinned, God promised them a Redeemer. This promise was repeated many times throughout the history of the Abrahamic line. They didn’t know much about the Redeemer but they knew:

·        He would be a king whose kingdom would last forever

·        He would bear all the sins of humanity

·        He would be a descendant of King David

The Israelites thought He would be born as royalty. They expected Him to be powerful in the ways of the world. They probably imagined that He would be handsome and stately. A man who spoke with great authority and who would lead them in rebellion against their Roman captors.

They thought He would come as a king. He was born poor. Jesus knew what it was like to feel inadequate.

Instead, He came out of a scandalous union (an unwed, pregnant mother was a much bigger thing then than it is now). He was born into an impoverished family. And He wasn’t even handsome.

Jesus knew what it was like to be considered inadequate by His peers. Yet, He was not deterred. He knew the truth:

His worth came from His Heavenly Father.

We also can make that claim. Our ‘good enough’ comes from God. It doesn’t matter what we don’t have according to earthly standards, we are complete in Jesus (Colossians 2:10).

Challenge: In what areas of your life do you feel inadequate? Find one Bible verse to remind yourself that you are enough in Christ.

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