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All of us struggle with various insecurities in life. But most of us let our insecurities sabotage the abundant life Jesus calls us too while limiting the freedom we were created for. So for your sake, let’s discuss this.
It’s easy to understand insecurities because we see them most clearly in others. We see others fear loneliness, failure or rejection. Or maybe fear being devalued or disrespected, unloved or being embarrassed.
God has a plan for putting to death your fears and insecurities and giving you a growing confidence in Him and His working in your life. And my life has been a good example of this.
My Life, an Example
My early insecurities were focused on feelings of rejection. I feared I couldn’t measure up or wasn’t of any value.
This tendency to believe that I was being rejected grew over the years. I often felt rejected by my friends, people I didn’t know, teachers, coaches, popular kids at school, and of course, girlfriends.
The sad thing about my focus on rejection was that it led me to make many bad decisions. Decisions that often contributed to my feelings of rejection. And all of this fed into my anger which tormented me for decades.
With some perspective, I can now look back and see that yes, there was some rejection, but I often exaggerated it and actually contributed to it by being rude to others. It worked like this.
I would expect some type of rejection and then come into a situation with an attitude. Then when I was rejected it was really because of my bad attitude.
But I also did manipulative things to cope with my fear of rejection.
- I tried to be a people-pleaser hoping that others would not reject me.
- I tried achieving significant goals to feel better about myself.
- I tried to impress others so they would like me.
- I plotted to get even and “show them” that they were wrong.
The one thing I hadn’t clearly done was bring my fears to Jesus and ask for wisdom.
Despite this God began to work on this sinful area of my life.
Today I am free from most of the fears that fed my old insecurities. I’m strongly aware of God’s love and how my fears have worked to steal joy and purpose.
During this process I’ve realized several important insights that I want to share with you. My prayer is that they will encourage you!
I’m responsible for the lies I tell myself.
We lie a lot to ourselves. We tell ourselves “it’s the way I am”, “it’s not that bad” and “it’s normal”. But it’s not and we know that truth deep in our hearts.
When we accept lies, then we are responsible for the effects of those lies.
For that reason we need to own our lies, and replace them with the truth of God’s word. God’s word tells me to love others even if they choose to reject me. That’s accepting the truth.
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
2nd Cor. 10:4-5
My insecurities expose my self-centeredness.
This took me by surprise when I realized that my focus on being rejected was a way of focusing all of the attention on myself. Rather than focusing on others and loving them, I was more concerned with avoiding rejection and staying in control.
When I walked into a room, I didn’t ask “How can I be a blessing to others?”. Instead I asked “Who is going to reject me this time?”. It was a very subtle way of keeping all of the attention on me by making myself a type of victim.
God gets no glory from our insecurities but He gets all of the glory when we trust Him and refuse to let them rule our life.
Bottom-line: Any time I’m self-conscious, I am likely being selfish.
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.
Jesus didn’t live his life and then die so I could be more Insecure.
God’s acceptance of us with all of our sin is a declaration that our insecurities are not an issue we need to focus on. Our focus should be on God’s goodness, kindness and promises to us. As we allow the powerful Holy Spirit to lead us, we are changed from the inside out.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
My insecurities show that I’m not fully trusting God.
This is a hard one to admit. But when I allow my insecurities to guide how I act around others or how I choose to live then I’m not fully trusting God to live in me and bring new life. I’m not believing His promises fully but instead, relying on my own self-will and effort to deal with my fears. I am rejecting the grace of God which frees me from the tyranny of fears. Yet God doesn’t give up on me or you!
My insecurities are like having a parking brake on in my life.
I’ve done this before. Left a parking brake on and driven around in my car. The result is a lot of friction, heat and a stinky car.
And my insecurities do similar things in my life. They hold me back. They slow me down. They make me moody and irritable. They focus my attention away from God. They limit my boldness for God and my desire to bless others.
As long as my insecurities are acting out, I’m less of the person that God is calling me to be. I’m less loving, less trusting and less of an ambassador for Him.
My insecurities are behind the conflicts I have.
When I look back at the conflicts I’ve had with others, it was often related to my fear of rejection. I would misinterpret others words (and actions) and then become angry and distant. I would try to do more than I could handle and become exhausted and frustrated with others. My fears led me to isolation, suspicion, and negative interpretation of others.
God wants to put my insecurities to death
The Holy Spirit does a work of sanctification when he makes us like Jesus. As the Holy Spirit works in us, he will often use these steps.
- Open my eyes to how unresolved insecurities are harming my life and witness
- Convict me of the sin I am committing when I am controlled by my insecurities
- Lead me to confessing my insecurities to both God and others so they can pray for me
- Urging me to ask for forgiveness from God and others I’ve harmed
- Revealing the lies that support my insecurities and replacing them with God’s word
- Warning me when these insecurities are affecting me and helping me choose to be humble and ask for help
- Opening my eyes to God’s constant goodness by delivering me day-by-day from a sinful past
God has a plan for your holiness and even now He is at work in you to make you like Him.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Questions to Ask Myself
- What are my most common insecurities?
- What is the earliest event that I can remember about them?
- What underlying fear is being expressed in my insecurity?
- How often does my insecurity hold me back from being a new creation in Christ?
- If I ask others, what insecurities do they see me expressing?
- What would my life be like if my insecurities were dead and no longer affecting me?
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2nd Corinthians 5:17
Ready for some really deep thoughts about finding joy and glorifying God, try reading this (very slowly…).