Humorist Steven Wright once said, “I have an inferiority complex, but it’s not a very good one.” (1)
People often try to overcome an inferiority complex with the help of counselors. A young husband with an inferiority complex insisted he was just “a little pebble on a vast beach.”
The marriage counselor, trying to be creative, told him, “If you wish to save your marriage, you’d better be ‘a little boulder.’“
Whether you believe an inferiority complex is a psychological malady or just too much focus on self, the truth of scripture is that every person is valuable ~ created with purpose.
We are not accidents. The Bible says believers were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Furthermore, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). God has saved us and called us to a holy life; it’s part of His purpose and grace, “given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9).
God says we are valuable, and He has not blessed us haphazardly. He gave us special gifts (Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:9-11, 1 Cor. 12) to accomplish His purposes. He has an everlasting plan, and we are part of it!
If we feel we are inferior, it is because we have not fully grasped the love and purposes of God for us, as unique individuals. Those things that we see in ourselves as handicaps and hindrances, God may well have designed them for His glory!
I think of Nick Vujicic, the Austalian born without arms or legs ~ just a vestigial left foot. He is a powerful evangelist, traveling the world and sharing the gospel and his unique take on life.
In 2007, Vijicic told a group gathered at Gateway Fellowship Church, “By the end of this service, you are going to be jealous of my life… You can’t undo my joy, you can’t undo my faith.” (2)
The inspiring young evangelist tells people about God’s purpose for their own lives as he shares his own: “God has a purpose for you,” he says, leaning intently forward. “God has a purpose for you to love. To love people… Do you know how to do that? That is what the church is for.”
Vijicic is fulfilling God’s purpose for his life because he is using what the Lord has given him ~ spiritual gifts, knowledge of the Word of God, his personality, and even his so-called “handicaps.” He doesn’t have time for an inferiority complex that would come with comparisons. (Comparisons are never wise ~ 2 Corinthians 10:12.) Though Vijicic admits to down times, his resolve to live in hope is powerful.
That day at Gateway, Vijicic spoke of the desire to fall in love, marry, and have children. The audience began to sense that there was more to life than what they understood. He spoke of not being able to dance on a wedding night or put an arm around a crying child. But his understanding of the real values in life came shining through. He said, for example, that it really doesn’t matter that he couldn’t hold his wife’s hand someday. “You don’t need hands to hold her heart,” he said.
There are many reasons for an “inferiority complex” ~ perhaps valid ones born in abuse, depression, or other life circumstances; but with God, there is always hope. God’s plans include “a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
So, “Why… are you downcast? [down in the dumps, crying the blues, feeling inferior] … Put your hope in God” (Psalm 43:5). Hope can transform the heart and motivate change, as it did for Nick Vujicic.
You are loved and created with a purpose, Friend. Embrace and apply that truth today.