I remember when I first discovered I was very proud. It was a shock. I had struggled with inferiority most of my life and I had no idea that pride and inferiority operate together quite well rather than working against one another as I had supposed. The opposite of pride is humility and meekness—not inferiority. Inferiority comes from the enemy just as much as pride does, and he uses both, either separately or together as much as he can get away with.
For the immature believer, inferiority will suffice to appease a corrupt conscience and convince us we are not proud. But the truth of the matter is, we feel inferior after not living up to our prideful view of ourselves. And we develop glamorous and proud views of ourselves in order to be rid of the misery that accompanies thoughts of inferiority. In other words, we have an inferiority complex with delusions of grandeur. This cycle is pernicious and can only be discovered and dealt with through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Satan Doesn’t Condemn For Being Proud
Not long ago, I ran across a quote from Derek Prince. In effect it said to remember that pride was the one sin the devil will not condemn you for. After reading this, I reviewed my life and discovered it was true. And that is exactly why it flies under the radar for so many Christians. But in addition to pride, I would like to say that the devil also doesn’t condemn us for inferiority. In fact, he uses every other sin against us to a degree that will ensure feelings of inferiority. And as mentioned above, this is a great tool to feed our pride.
But back to when I first discovered I was proud. Though I did discover I was proud and that I had a vicious cycle going on in my life, I didn’t realize just how deeply it ran. I repented of all the pride and inferiority that was visible to me at the moment. I felt pretty good about the whole thing and thought I had a great victory. And while it’s true that I did have victory, I soon discovered pride comes in layers or shades. It’s awesome when we discover it and begin to tackle it, but we had better be prepared for a long process. Perhaps one that lasts a lifetime. I don’t know for sure, because as of this writing I’m personally not out of the weeds yet.
The fact that pride was the sin that led to Lucifer’s rebellion and ultimately his expulsion from heaven, is an indication to me that it is the father of all other sins that came after it. Therefore, as long as we are struggling with any sin at all, we are probably still struggling with pride.
But let’s not allow that to discourage us. Let’s allow it to be an impetus to humble ourselves all the more and submit to the process God has in mind for us to go through. And as each layer of pride is removed along with the other sins it has fathered, let’s rejoice! But let’s remain vigilant and watch for the time that will inevitably come when the Spirit of God reveals the next shade of pride we were blinded to before.
One verse I’ve found that counteracts both inferiority and pride, is Psalms 139:13-14 where it points out that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The fact that we are fearful and wonderful can work against inferiority. The fact that we were made and did not form ourselves should keep us humble.