Feeling Inadequate? Let's Do Something About It!

Movies and television shows are engineered to display extreme levels of emotion from elation to despair. When we compare our lives to the lives of fictitious people on the screen, we may feel inadequate. What are we missing from life?

I recall a humorous, yet poignant, remark from the 1980's. In a rare moment of candor, a man said, "People say I should express my emotions. But what if I try to, and discover that I have none?" There is a similar story of a Christian who experienced the same fear when told to evangelize. He was supposed to tell others about his faith. He said, "What if I try to express my faith, only to discover that I have none?"

Whether we are talking about expressing our emotions or our faith, it is unfair to say that we have none of either. It is more accurate to say that we have not grown enough to be able to share that part of ourselves with others. We need a better understanding of how we learn and grow.

As children, we learned by mimicking, or copying, our parents. Our brains recorded patterns of behavior. When we needed structure for our own behavior, we just played back the recording in our brains and acted out what we had seen others do. Our behavior was a response to external forces.

But emotions and faith cannot be copied or duplicated because they are responses to internal forces. We cannot see a happy person, copy his smile and just make ourselves happy. We cannot see a person with great faith, copy his lifestyle and call ourselves Christians. We may try to copy these things to get a temporary lift or a temporary guide for proper behavior. But we are still responding to external forces and the effects will not be permanent.

Change must come from within. You must cherish God's Word. You must allow yourself to be influenced by that which is spiritual, not physical. It is time to quit mimicking your biological parents' behavior. God is your father and teacher now. Let God's spirit come alive in you. Please pray with me. "Dear God: Free my mind from the distractions of everyday life. Open up my heart to your heart. Let my empty spirit be filled with your loving spirit. Show me how to grow. Teach me to share my faith."

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