Friday, June 8, 2012

Questioning Self

He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15 NAS)

A friend of mine shared with me how she began questioning herself and her competency after working for over a year in an environment where the stakeholders seemingly could not understand the value of her proposed marketing plans. Her situation reminds me of the exact same feeling I had not too long ago after the team of people I worked with in a corporation was absorbed by another department.

For many years, my work had been highly valued as contributing to the corporation. With the change in culture under a new boss and a new supervisor based at headquarters abroad, things were seemingly getting out of hand. After several months ironing out conflicts and differences adjusting from a team working environment to top-down management, I was greatly distressed and started questioning my own self-worth and values. I failed then to realize it was God’s way of leading me to new pastures, but now I know.

Many of us have probably experienced the feeling of self-doubt at one time or another and questioned ourselves whether we are cut out for a certain job tasked on us to perform. In the Bible, we read of several people who were also faced with such situations. When called by God to deliver His people out of Egypt, Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). On becoming king, Solomon prayed, “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7). When told to deliver Israel from the hand of Midian, Gideon said, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house” (Judges 6:14-15).

Questioning ourselves when feeling inadequate or when in self-doubt is nothing wrong, but we ought never to give up. This is because very often our abilities are not our own but God-given, and in His strength we can succeed (Philippians 4:13). If we take the time to ponder over our past, we may discover the many occasions we did certain things we were not qualified for or capable of doing under normal circumstances. Such abilities are God-given; not our own. Like salvation, they are the gift of God, not as a result of our works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Just as Moses, Solomon, and Gideon prevailed in the Lord when they obeyed God, let us therefore also not fret but be prepared when called upon to do His will or to a new adventure ahead. Let us be content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties for Christ's sake; for when we are weak, then are we strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Grant us dear Lord the confidence to do what You ask of us, and give us the strength to do the things we cannot do. Help us completely trust in You and not dwell in self-doubt, but overcome our feelings of inadequacy and inability. We desire to obey Your command O God, for You know us better than we know ourselves. In our weakness and distress O Lord, keep us content for Christ’s sake that when we are weak, we may be strong in You.

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