Feeling second best is always a heartache. Whether you were the least growing up in your family, or the last considered in social events; maybe you were second choice in a relationship, or passed-over in a deserved job promotion–whatever the situation, coming in “second” sometimes leaves a negative impression on the heart that can last a life time.
Interestingly, people deal with being bypassed or discounted differently. One person might be inclined to fold on an opportunity too soon because they don’t want to deal with losing to someone else. Another person might be inclined to aggressively pursue an opportunity in efforts to come in first place. Either way the motives are stemming from the same place: that nagging fear of not quite measuring up.
How does one deal with that rejected feeling of not measuring up? First, it is good to be aware that the feeling of “emptiness” associated with this struggle is normal. However, trying to fill that desperate space with the wrong kind of reassurances will get you into trouble. This is why it is important to recognize that the deep sensation of emptiness is not a reflection on you or your value. It has nothing to do with the real you, only the perceived you in someone elses faulty perception. More often than not there is something wrong in the heart of the favorer.
A favorer is easy to recognize. They tend to favor superficial things or people for superficial reasons. You may have all the necessary qualifications and still be overlooked simply out of shallow preference. It is good to remember that the word superficial has the meaning of lacking depth. Not only is the recipient being favored for a reason that lacks substance, but the favorer themselves are lacking in depth of character, “But if you show favoritism, you sin…” (James 2:9). Let this truth have a reverse affect: shifting focus off of you and onto the favorer, praying for god-centered value system in their life. Remember, someone else being favored over you never takes away your true value, but is generally an indication that the favorer needs a heart adjustment. We have all been here at some point “favoring.” Let our “feeling second best” serve as a reminder to resist the favoring of others in our own lives.
Also, consider David the shepherd boy in the Bible. Even the prophet Samuel (a man of God) erroneously miscalculated his value, favoring the impressive. When God called Samuel to anoint His choice for a new king from among Jesse’s sons, David was not first, second, or third …but eighth choice in Samuel’s estimation. My goodness! talk about not measuring up!
Do you remember what God said to Samuel regarding this error of judgement?
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7)
The Scripture is replete with similar scenarios. Consider for yourself the great men and women used of God. Were they not second choice in the world’s eyes? What about Gideon? How about Joseph? Think about Esther, and don’t forget the impoverished Mary. And the list goes on…
Based on God’s ways revealed in His Holy Word we can confidently assert that not measuring up by the world’s standards is never a deterrent. In God’s economy it is rather a catalyst for great things. Extraordinary adventures await those who are overlooked in this this world!
“…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
(1 Cor 1:26-29)
by Paula Masters
Using Philippians 4:8 as the starting point, Blue Skies helps women navigate beyond clouds of spiritual darkness into the brilliant light of truth, peace, and healthy thinking.