A problem I noticed amongst many of my friends, especially those of faith, is that they often feel undeserving.
The ‘problem’ with faith/religion is that it gives a long list of things that you shouldn’t do. This isn’t an entirely bad thing, rules are needed in life. But committing certain sins led them to believe that they were no longer entitled to any form of blessing. This was a mindset that many had adopted when things weren’t going too well. Appreciating blessings became easier because they were conscious of all that they received despite feeling unworthy.
The more we discussed the issue, the more I realised I could relate. When I changed the tune of my blogs back in December 2014 and changed my mindset, I began my self-improvement journey and I haven’t turned back since; but despite doing everything I could to become a better person, I still felt undeserving. The only difference between us was that I hadn’t labelled my feelings.
Feeling undeserving or unworthy is not something that stems from the love of God, rather, the tactics of the enemy and so your perspective on life and views of yourself begin to worsen, leading to side effects that have an impact on those around you.
The Impact on You:
When you feel unworthy, you accept pretty much everything that is handed to you because you have no standards. ‘Victims’ begin to tolerate sub-standard people, relationships, behaviour, results etc.; the most detrimental being a sub-standard version of themselves. Your feelings of being undeserving are reflected in your level of self-respect and when you lack in self- respect, people can see it and will often, unfortunately, take advantage of this.
I admire my friends; I take pride in saying that they motivate me almost every day. During this season, however, I noticed that this drive and passion wasn’t bearing any fruits and these individuals didn’t view this as a problem. They were doing their best and working hard, yet not expecting results that reflected their efforts. They were willing to put in maximum effort and receive average output. This, my dear friends, is called an inefficient system. I wasn’t happy about it of course, but if someone is doing their best, what other advice can you give?
“I did my best, so this must be what I deserve”
Maybe as an observer, it’s easy for me to cry out that this is absolutely ridiculous! But I’ve had my fair share of up and downs and I can understand how easy it is to feel as though a season of bad news will last a lifetime.
You cannot give up on yourself or your abilities. Why put your heart and soul into things without having the expectations to match? When you lack in self-belief, just like with self-respect, it shows through your behaviour. People will pick up on this and doubt your capabilities too- it’s a downward spiral from this point onwards.
“If you believe in God, one things for sure, if you ain’t aim too high… then you aim too low” – J Cole, January 28th
Doubting God’s Ability
I mentioned earlier that I could relate to these feelings of unworthiness. This occurred when I was still trying to establish a relationship with God. I had always known of Him but I had not yet started to get to know Him for myself. I had this understanding that God and I were in partnership (the first mistake) and that we worked together through life, meaning that I was just as important as He was and if anything, He was nothing more than a source of power that aligned with my thoughts and my plans. Looking back at how wrong I was has made me smile- growth, wisdom and understanding are such a beautiful things.
But anyway, back to the topic. As a result, not only had I managed to convince myself that I didn’t deserve good things, I had managed to convince myself that God felt the same way. I stopped praying, I stopped reading my Bible and I only attended church on Sundays for the sake of socialising. My expectations of receiving a powerful sermon or encountering the presence of God during worship were non-existent. I was tolerating lifeless moments with God.
You DO Deserve!
To overcome this toxic mindset, I had to accept one simple thing: God gives us gifts for HIS glory.
God doesn’t bless us according to our works but according to his love for us which never fails.
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him” Psalm 103:10-11
But God won’t bless you in the ways you desire if you aren’t ready to accept the necessary responsibility. How can He take control of your life and your blessings if you don’t give Him full control? Every time you put yourself in the position to decide what you ‘deserve’, you are taking control away from Him.
So yes, you may not necessarily ‘deserve’ all the good things in life, but God’s love and mercy means that you’re going to get it anyway. So go to God with expectations! You are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and therefore should walk through life with God-given confidence (GODfidence) accepting nothing less than what a child of the Most High deserves!
You may feel too unrighteous to receive blessings, or that you don’t fit the criteria, but be rest assured that what He says is for you will be for you regardless of what the world and even you say!
I’m not a preacher so here lies the end of this post. I hope that you’ve been encouraged.
Guys, it’s crazy how things work out….
I wrote this post and delayed publishing for several months. When I finally decided to release it, I stumbled across an article on LinkedIn that explains exactly what feeling undeserving means to me. Have a read here!