For years I danced my heart out at the Masquerade Ball. Wearing a mask of striving, over-achieving and performance, I hid my deep fear of inadequacy. The enemy whispered lies saying, “It’s only a matter of time. They’re going to find out you’re a fraud. You really don’t deserve the good things that are happening to you.”
And you know what? He was right. Well, half-right.
I don’t deserve success.
I don’t deserve my physical abilities, intellect or talents.
I don’t even deserve my salvation nor my spiritual gift(s).
But God delighted to give them to me. And He delights to give yours to you.
God’s gifts are sufficient and we need not live in fear of inadequacy.
A Divine Invitation
I’m a recovering people-pleaser. This generally makes me a pretty obedient kid when it comes to my Heavenly Father. I learn what He wants me to do and I act on it, because I want to please Him. Recently, I sought the Lord asking Him what He had next for me. His answer shocked me and left me trembling. In the quietness of my heart He whispered, “Child, what do you want to do?”
Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer that. I didn’t trust myself to make that kind of decision. (I’m an inadequate fraud, remember?) I went to a trusted sister in Christ and asked her what to do. Her answer shocked me as well: “Erica, He wants you to enjoy the journey. To have fun with the projects and gifts He is giving you. He is faithful to equip you; He is sufficient. They aren’t meant to be a duty, but a delight!”
Enjoy the Party
A delight. I do delight in studying God’s Word. I am a total nerd who sits at her desk for hours reading the Word aloud with different inflections trying to uncover all that God meant to convey. I actually enjoy it. If God uses what He teaches me in the lives of others, well I need to learn to delight in that as well. It has nothing to do with inadequacy, but everything to do with God’s sufficiency and my obedience.
A dear friend of mine creates stunning events. She thinks through design, logistics, and scheduling, resulting in masterpiece memories for people. And you know what? She enjoys the countless hours searching for just the right centerpieces. What if she said, “I can’t plan an event for anyone- I’m really not that good at it.” How much celebration would be stripped from this life?
Another friend of mine paints like magic. She communes with Jesus while holding a paintbrush in extraordinary ways. What if she said, “No one should see my paintings. No one else will see beauty in them.” When I behold her paintings a peace washes over me. I believe it’s because she rests in the peace of her Savior while she paints them. Doesn’t the world need more peace and beauty?
Ditch the Mask
For years I hid behind my mask, continually comparing myself to others, insisting I had to work harder to prove myself worthy. When I did succeed, I chalked it up to some sort of fluke, or spiritualized it to the point that God had everything to do with it and I had offered nothing. (This is a real phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome.) But I did offer something: a willing heart and a desire to obey. No, I can’t take credit for it, but I can delight God allowed me to be a part of it.
I still struggle to accept compliments. There is a fine line for me between giving glory to God and rejoicing that He used me to get the glory. I haven’t figured out how to walk that line well yet. But I have ditched the mask, because God is sufficient and He equips.
Comparison Kills Community
God issued a divine invitation. Not to compare myself to others, but to unite with others in community. To celebrate one another’s gifts and encourage others to delight in how God equips them. To remind me to delight in mine. As we each pursue God and promote His glory through our own individual works, He brings us together becoming The Unexplainable Church– delighting in our Savior and one another.
I found a new freedom when I realized my deep fear of inadequacy came from the lie of Imposter Syndrome. Those whispers of the enemy became much easier to silence. So here’s my challenge to you: admit it. Come clean. Tell somebody where you’ve been holding back. You can start by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.
Share one thing you haven’t yet done, because you felt too inadequate to try. Or maybe something you’re already doing, but you feel like you’re not really doing it well- despite what everyone else tells you…
When have you felt undeserving of the gifts or the success that God has delighted to give you?