Life doesn’t always go according to plan.
Perhaps you are a student, had all the desire to excel this semester, but even after much resolve, you still ended up procrastinating and you have either failed your exam or perhaps just barely got your B- grade, but it wasn’t enough to get you into the med-school that you really wanted to get into.
You say to yourself, “Why am I so useless? Why do I always procrastinate and can never achieve anything? I am pathetic indeed”.
Perhaps you are working on a really important project, and you have been working really hard at it for a very long time. Perhaps this could be that decisive moment that determines whether I get that promotion, an opportunity like this perhaps doesn’t come as often.
However, in spite of your very best efforts, the outcome is not as good as you hoped for, and some rookie who hasn’t even been in the field half the time you have been gets the promotion.
You say to yourself “Why am I so useless and incompetent? I have zero talent and I am pathetic and no good for anything out there indeed”.
The wrong diagnosis that we all have been given
Many times, when we felt this way about ourselves, our immediate shepherds, our youth leader, elder or sometimes even our pastor, might have told us,
“Cheer up! You are child of God. The sense of worthlessness and feeling of being pathetic that you feel about yourself? Its just Satan trying to attack you and tumble you down. You are not at all pathetic, you are not at all incompetent, you are perfectly and fearfully created!”
The correct diagnosis: perhaps you are pathetic
Sin has made us sick. Before sin entered the world, we were without any sinful tendencies and therefore we did not fall short of the glory of God. Now as a person in the flesh, you are weak and you are sinful, therefore you do have sinful tendencies and you are pathetic in that sense.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew chapter 5, verse 3)
God actually blesses only those who realize that they are actually failures and that they are in need of God’s grace. Your sin of sloth and procrastination is something you need to repent and confess before God.
God forgives sinners, but he doesn’t justify or sugar coat your sinfulness.
You are not right with God because “you are a child of God”, but because Christ has covered your sins and no matter how short you fall of his glory, he will still accept you – not because you are his child now – but more specifically because Christ has died for your sins.
Therefore, the whole focal point is not on you, but it is on Christ. So, don’t be afraid to simply acknowledge, “God I am an absolute complete failure, but that is perfectly fine! Because it was never actually about me and my accomplishments, but all about you!”.
Let your low self-esteem be a springboard that will propel you further into the depths of God’s forgiving and loving heart.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 9).
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves the Lord.