Growing up as a teenager, there were many times I felt intimidated by others either directly or indirectly but I never allowed it to get me into feeling inferior, I had a one-strike strategy that knocked every intimidation off.
I will feel intimidated by others because they went to the most-sorted private schools in the community and they could speak better English than I do, their discussions were usually unrelatable to me because some activities were just missing from the public school I was attending. My school wasn’t bad, my mum did her best to give me all I needed, but it was a ‘government’ school and the kind of people you find there were different.
Some other times, I would feel intimidated by some talented teenagers who could either dance, perform some stunts or sing extraordinarily. I would usually ask myself, “So what do I have?”
The answer was always the same, and that was my strategy.
I had Jesus.
Jesus in me is a treasure. I felt like anyone who did not have Jesus was lesser than me regardless of what they had or who they are. If they were Christians, what mattered was not their skills or positions but how they used them to influence the kingdom of God. What brought us to the same class was simply having Jesus and so we are equal in rank and there is no intimidation.
After all, Paul warned that none should think of himself more highly than the other.
Having Jesus meant and still means the world to me. I feel on top of the world because of Him. I believe I could achieve anything with Jesus on my side, regardless of what I had or did not have.
I knew the everyman had a purpose, and everything you have is meant to fulfilling that purpose. What you have is only relevant in the light of its contribution to the fulfilment of your purpose.
My one strategy to knocking off intimidation was reminding myself that I had Jesus, I knew my purpose and I am working on fulfilling it.
Most the teenagers at my age did not know what purpose was, let alone having one. I was 15 when I gave my life to Christ and I had discovered my purpose by then. Many of my peers were not born-again as well, so I fell potentially higher than them until they became born again. When they become born again, there are no more comparisons because we are ‘classmates’ – we become the elites of the world. At that point, what determines our success is not what we have but what we have done for the Kingdom of God with what we have.
This is the end of my little story.
Now I will share some facts with you before we proceed.
1. Intimidation is different from having a low self-esteem
Intimidation is the point where you feel threatened by something someone else has or does that you don’t have or cannot do. It’s more like a threat; it’s an event. It’s your emotional expression to an expression from someone else. Just like every threat, you choose how you react to it. You can even get over the emotion without doing anything, it can fade away over time. Low self-esteem is a situation where feeling intimidated is your permanent state. You feel every other person is better than you. You are always ready to be intimidated, so whatever others do you will find a way of interpreting it to be intimidating or oppressing to you.
When you are in this state, even people that are lower than you in abilities can make you feel intimidated. It is a mental state of health that has been formed based on what you have thought about yourself repeatedly. It is an identity that you have appended to yourself based on the mindset you have about yourself.
Intimidation is a reaction, low self-esteem is a state. Your self-esteem is formed by how you have perceived yourself over the years.
2. For there to be self-esteem, there has to be a comparison.
The esteem you have of yourself is usually dependent on a perceived standard that you set by looking at others or set by the community you find yourself in. The Bible tells us that by comparing themselves with themselves, they became fools (2 Corinthians 10:12) so who are we supposed to set as a standard?
If you want to know what your standard should be, look at Jesus, not your fellow man. In regards to esteeming other Christians, the bible says we should esteem others as better than us ( Philippians 2:3-5) and that is in the sense of loving them and caring for them because we are both co-heirs with Christ. It doesn’t mean you should see them as better in rank or wealth. It’s more like saying love them better than yourself, don’t be selfish.
3. Self-esteem is not imposed, it can be either accepted or rejected
I see people making it look like their society and environment are always intimidating so they are therefore forced to have low self-esteem. This is far from the truth, the esteem you have for yourself is your choice. It cannot be imposed on you, it is called ‘self-esteem…how you esteem yourself is the value of yourself determined by you.
We will now proceed to discuss how you can overcome low self-esteem as a Christian.
1. Christians don’t have self-esteem, we have Christ esteem
When we become born again, our lives become one with that of Jesus. The bible tells us that we should look up to Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). As we behold him we are changed to become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). This means that Jesus is our standard of comparison and not any man, Christian or non-Christian.
So we are supposed to have Christ-esteem. This means seeing ourselves the way Jesus sees us.
How does Jesus see us?
He sees us as perfect, beautiful, righteous and, excellent. It doesn’t even look at your sins because he paid for them.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 8: 30
He sees himself in you. When you understand this, you can never have low self-esteem. You will try not to have high self-esteem or pride. When you understand how Jesus sees you, you will feel on top of the world. You only feel bad because you compare yourself with men, stop it.
Because of this, as a teenager, I used to feel I can talk to anybody including the president of my country. I preached on the assembly ground several times talking to many students. I was not scared of anything, I could speak anyway because I compared myself only with Jesus.
Compare yourself with Jesus, Jesus is loving. When you compare yourself with Him it only gives you joy, happiness and more motivation for success. It will never make you feel less of yourself.
This point does not rule out looking at others and learning some good attributes from them whether they are Christians or not, God created every man so there is some good in them. You can acquire skills from a non-Christian. You can learn from people without feeling intimidated by them. You can have people that you want to learn from and model some aspects of your life after, but your ultimate role model should be Jesus.
You should not see yourself as too high or too low, see yourself the way Christ sees you and you will have Christ’s esteem.
2. You are seated with Christ
When you are conscious of your position in Christ, you don’t feel intimidated by anyone. You are higher than the whole world, government and authorities (Ephesians 1:21). This however does not lead you to pride, it rather raises an urgency in you to want every human to come into that position. You are propelled to love more because you know whoever is not born again is living an empty life, regardless of what they have. How can you feel intimidated by a wealthy man who knows not Christ? When he dies, his wealth perishes and He goes to hell. Your goal will be to get him to Christ so he will have eternal life and his wealth can also give him eternal rewards by him investing them in the kingdom of God. When the man receives Jesus, you both become equal in Chris – ‘joint-heirs’ (Romans 8:17). He may only have more skills in building wealth and that will not lead you to jealousy because you both are working for the expansion of the same kingdom. Rather than being jealous, you would be excited to learn from him.
The same situation applies to skilled people. No matter how skilled they are, their skills will have no eternal value except with Christ. Most of the so-called celebrities today do not know Jesus and whatever rewards or accolades they receive on earth have no value whatsoever in the eternal kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:19–20)
So don’t envy the celebrities both love them, pray for them you are higher than any celebrity that does not know Jesus and you can help them with Jesus (John 3:16 – 18, 1 John 5:12 ). God wants all men to come to Him. (2 Peter 3:9)
3. Love the way Jesus loves
Sitting in the same position with Jesus is not just in authority. It means you inherit the attitude and character of Jesus. It means you share the heartthrob of Jesus. Jesus loves all men and you should as well (John 3:16). When you love, you don’t compare. You only see the good in their ability, success or skill and you celebrate them. Low self-esteem is a demonic position where the Devil makes you compare yourself with others always. When you love as Jesus does, you will see yourself celebrating others whether Christian or not, but your goal is to get everyone to become a Christian because no matter what they achieve, without Jesus it is vanity. (Mark 8:36)
4. Refuse to compare
Comparison and competition are one of the Devil’s greatest strategies for causing chaos in the world. God did not create man to compete with man. Competition causes jealousy, envy, bad feelings, and depression. God’s method of rewarding excellence is not competition. This is why most judgements for several competitions are rarely fair.
Life is not a track race, every man has his purpose and is meant to run his unique race based on that. The measure of his success is not by measuring how others run but by how much he has run his race. The finish line is unique to each individual and that should be the standard of judgement.
As much as possible, avoid comparison. All competitions are based on comparisons, and every competition ends with one person feeling extremely happy and the other feeling extremely bad regardless of emotionally strong they are, and sometimes, the most skilful does not even get the prize.
5. Understand your uniqueness and your value
God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27)and this means that every man is special either Christian or not. The Bible says that He makes his rain fall on both the wicked and the righteous (Matthew 5:45 ). God gave everyone talents and abilities.
As a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit who makes it easier for you to discover your talents and harness them. You are unique and there is something special about you. You are the only one like you, this is not to make you feel good but it is the truth.
I will give you an example. 2 people who studied the same course are not the same. Even if the two of them have the same amount of knowledge, which is not possible, they probably did not live in the same environment. The environment also determines what they are exposed to and the knowledge they have acquired. If they stayed in the same environment, they like didn’t attend the same secondary school. If they attended the same secondary school, they didn’t attend the same primary school, if they attended the same primary school, they didn’t live with the same parents. If they lived with the same parents, they didn’t have the same conversations with people around them.
Underlying this, there are still several factors running currently like the movies they watch, the thoughts they nurture, the friends they keep, the songs they listen to etc. All of these things are put together to determine who you are and can give you an edge if properly utilized.
Using myself as an example, I studied English and Literature at the University, and my wife studied English as well; we were classmates. 2 people with the same degree. After my degree, I got a job as a Graphics Designer. My wife couldn’t have because she doesn’t know Graphics Design, I could work in companies that needed a Graphics Designer who was good at communication. My wife, on the other hand, got a job as a Writer in a company that required graduates with a second-class upper degree. I couldn’t apply for the same job as her because I had Second class lower degree.
You can see the difference, everything that has happened to you or experienced makes you unique.
Being Christians, our relationships with Jesus also makes us unique.
Your work is to discover yourself and improve on what God has given to you to achieve success. When you do this, you will not feel intimidated by the success of others.
6. Discover your purpose
Discovering your purpose helps you measure your success rightly. You judge yourself not by looking at others but by looking at the race God has set before you and what you have left. Paul knew what his purpose was and he didn’t compete with Peter (2 Timothy 4:7). He knew exactly what his work was and he finished it. To learn more about discovering your purpose, click here.
7. Have faith that you have a Christ- esteem
After ensuring you have all of the right mindset as mentioned above the next step is for you to act in faith. Believe that you have the right to esteem yourself and you don’t have low self-esteem. Don’t mind your feelings, just believe them and it will work. This step will lead you to the next step which is the ‘work’ of this faith I am talking about.
I will like to say that working in faith is simple. It is simple when you see it as simple, but difficult when you see it as difficult. I will tell you a quick story. Starting put as a Christian, I used to struggle with hearing from God. I would pray and fast “God help me hear you clearly”, but it wasn’t getting any better until one day. God told me that the reason I could not hear him clearly was that in my mind, I thought it was difficult but I should start seeing it as simple as hearing from my fellow human. He told me that He was always speaking, so I just needed to listen anytime I want and I will hear Him.
Since that day, I started applying this principle to other areas of my life and it works. I see everything as simple. When people, tell me about a challenging situation, the first thing I tell them is ‘it’s simple’ and it always turned out that it was simple.
There is power in the mind (Romans 12:2). Whatever you configure the mind to do is what it will do, when you say “I can’, your mind releases all the energy it has into making something possible. When you say ‘I cannot’ it shrinks and hides shame.
When you believe “I have Christ esteem”, your mind will act in that direction. To steer your mind directly, follow the next step.
You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
8. Use your mouth
After believing that you have the right esteem, the next step is to proclaim the Word of God over yourself. Make the following confessions every day until you begin to see some changes.
I am perfect
I am the expression of the beauty of God
I am the Glory of God.
I think like Christ.
Jesus lives in my heart.
He rules over my thought.
I command every thought in my heart to bow to the name of Jesus.
I am who God says I am
I see myself the way God sees me.
I have a perfect esteem
I have a Christ esteem.
I see the values God placed in me.
I am full of values.
I am a world changer.
The world needs me.
I add value to anyone that comes in contact with me.
I am a value-adding person.
I am a solution provider.
I am beautiful.
I am excellent.
People see Jesus in me.
I am covered with the glory of God.
When people see me, they see solutions.
I am indispensable to the world, my community and my family.
I live the way God wants me to.
I fulfil my purpose every day.
I don’t compare myself with others.
I measure myself with Christ.
I am the best in everything I do.
Christ is at work in me,
My emotions are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
I am never intimidated.
I am never afraid.
I am full of life.
I am full of joy.
I am full of the Holy Ghost.
I don’t envy others.
I celebrate success.
Everything works together for my good.
I am a success.
I reign in life with Christ Jesus.
You have no reason to feel low about yourself. You have all it takes to be the best and live a happy life. Jesus loves you. If you have not received Jesus into your heart, kindly say the salvation prayer on the right hand of this page or click here to say view the prayer. To learn more about what it means to be a Christian, click here. If you would like to know more about Jesus, click here.
Thank you so much for reading this far. God bless you.
Michael Adegoke is a Christian Creative. He is passionate about changing lives through the infallible Word of God. He finds joy in helping others. His journey with Christ started at the early age of 15. Michael is also a WordPress Expert and he also enjoys teaching everything he knows. Check out his website for more information.