"I'm not smart enough"
"I'm not pretty enough"
"I'm not good enough."
Chances are you think of these statements as self-deprecating, but did you realize these statements are actually pride in disguise? Take a closer look.
We normally think of pride or arrogance as thinking better of ourselves than we ought to think. Indeed, scripture implores us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. Romans 12:3 says: " For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
That's one form of pride. The other form is a more subtle, inverse pride. Sometimes we think too much of ourselves, but oftentimes, we're not thinking highly enough. Really it's two sides of the same coin.
Either form of pride says "I got this." Pride is all about me - what I can or can't do and what I feel. Humility, on the other hand, says "I can do nothing without Him." (John 15:5). Humility is submission to what God says about you. If God calls me the "righteousness of God in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:21), then, by golly, that's what I am! If God says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," (Philippians 4:13), then I can! If God says that Christ in me can "preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and set the oppressed free," (Luke 4:18), then, in Christ, I will! Humility is not about what I've done or can do, it's about what He did.
Humility is boasting in the Lord! (2 Corinthians 12:9).
"I'm smart, because God made me smart."
"I'm beautiful, because God called me beautiful."
"I'm wanted, because God accepted me."
"I'm good, because God is good and a good God made me!"
Friends, we don't need faith to feel defeated. Anyone can do that. We need faith to simply realize what Christ has already done. If we've been translated into the Kingdom of Light and we belong to the Body of Christ, then feeling defeated is a form of pride, because He has already given us the victory. Who are you to say you are a loser? Who are you to say you're unworthy? Who are you to say your life is beyond redemption? Who are you to contradict God? The value of your life is not up to you; it, quite literally, is on Him.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Christ has won you the victory! He has snatched the keys of Hell and triumphed over death - for you - once and for all. You hold the keys to your freedom because Christ gave them to you. Stop snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. You are already victorious in Christ. Rejoice! Love has won.
In the words of Nelson Mandela:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.