AS a young person, I was striving to succeed in a challenging field, but the constant criticism being heaped upon me made me feel inadequate to do so. I would say to myself, ``I guess I'm nothing but an inexperienced, clumsy child!'' One day I dropped to my knees in prayer with my Bible in my hands. It fell open at the first chapter of Jeremiah where the prophet says: ``Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.''1
I felt that God had answered my prayer.
My sense of personal inadequacy and fear of others began to fade before the dawning understanding that, as Christian Science teaches, the wisdom and ability any one of us may need at any time are really to be found in God, infinite and perfect Mind. He is the living Principle, the cause, of all that is divinely true and real, the loving, immortal Father-Mother of us all! In the words of the beloved Way-shower, Christ Jesus, ``The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.''2
We can learn to identify ourselves according to the God-conceived reality of our being--not as groping, discordant mortals but as spiritual, immortal offspring of God, expressing His wondrous intelligence and omnipotence. And because this is who we really are, we have the ability, through prayer and purification of thought, to reflect the Christ-power by which Jesus did his great works. The power of the healing Christ, Truth, governing our consciousness, gives us the ability and worth we desire.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: ``Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak `as one having authority.'''3
If we will turn to God humbly, He will show us the spiritual truths that will enable us to gain dominion over the feeling of inadequacy and over the physical suffering that sometimes accompanies that feeling.
The following verse (continuing the passage from Jeremiah quoted earlier) can offer some effective truths to use: ``See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.''4 Accordingly, you and I can trust that we live always under God's law of harmony and that the realization of this truth sets us ``over the nations and...kingdoms'' of false, materialistic beliefs about ourselves. It can act to ``root out'' of our experience the bullying pretensions and emotional pressures of mistaken, worldly thinking, ``pull down'' and ``destroy'' the elements of disorder. It can ``throw down'' the signs of personal domination and interference that sometimes seem so aggressive around us. The understanding of God's loving all-presence ``builds'' for us a true, unselfish sense of spiritual authority; it will ``plant'' in our thought the right motives and ideas that will cause our worthy endeavors to prosper.
The sons and daughters of God are not in collision; they reflect His love. God, infinite Mind, holds His offspring in perfect harmony, in which they glorify Him at every turn. There is no inadequacy in the divine reality of God's creation, though sin is always inadequate and therefore must be faced and destroyed in order to reveal more of reality.
As I learned to think along the lines of absolute spiritual truth, feelings of inadequacy disappeared, and my work began to develop in a fruitful way.
We don't need to surrender to feelings of inadequacy. We are in truth the offspring of God, reflecting Him. This understanding enables us to do our jobs properly and happily. ``His is the power by which we act,/His be the glory too.''5 We are abundantly adequate through Truth to express the Father's goodness and to bless all who cross our paths.
1Jeremiah 1:6-8. 2John 5:19. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 14. 4Jeremiah 1:10. 5Christian Science Hymnal, No. 354. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13