Insecurity! Everyone of us suffer from it at some point in our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. Unfortunately, it’s rooted in our fallen nature and begins to surface in childhood. Many adults still have an insecure child in them due to a significant emotional trauma in their past.
Insecurity is like a heavy ball and chain weighing you down and disrupting your relationships with others. Insecurity is a feeling of unease and vulnerability due to a perception of feeling threatened in some way. Insecurity is a lack of deep understanding and confidence in our personal value and a lack of security in our personal identity.
A classic example of insecurity is King Saul (1 Samuel 9:21). From the very beginning Saul suffered from deep insecurity and it undermined his relationships and calling.
Symptoms of insecurity include:
1. Withdrawal and isolation from others.
2. An overly controlling personality.
3. Constant aggressive behavior.
4. Constant avoidance of confrontation.
5. Over-compensatory behavior
6. Defensive mechanisms towards others.
7. Mask wearing.
The downward spiral of insecurity looks like:
– Comparison to others
– Compensation of behavior
– Competition of others
– Compulsive behavior
– Condemnation of oneself
– Control the outcome
As you look at how insecurity manifests itself, we conclude it’s simply unhealthy because it drives us toward doing all sorts of things that are unnatural to how God designed us or what he thinks about us. Insecurity limits our self-authenticity because we are constantly living according to what we think other people think of us.
What’s the remedy? Identify where your insecurity surfaced in your life. What was the identifiable triggers of it? Repent and ask God to help you become a more secure person. Renew your ideas about your identity in the Scriptures. Celebrate and become comfortable in your own skin, including your gifts and unique qualities. Affirm others but don’t compare yourself to them. Welcome compliments and affirm the people around you.
Insecurity is a fruit of our fallen nature but in Christ we can grow to learn a new pattern of thinking about ourselves and others that’s both helpful and God-glorifying (2 Cor 5:17).
Does anyone out there still struggle with sin?
We don’t like to see our human brokenness through the lens of sin but it is apart of our fallen humanity and it’s helpful to clarify what sin is, if we’re going to overcome it. Sin (hamartia) is defined as missing the mark or more specifically, to fail to live according to God’s intention and design. Because we have failed to live according to God’s original intention and design we are easily misled by the environment around us as well as our own hearts. We are also weakened by our flesh that delights in compromise and we actively resist the wisdom and truth that alone can set us free. In short, we can’t save ourselves, we need Jesus!
Our rebellion against God has caused a spiritual canyon between us and God that only God’s Son is able to remedy. As a result, apart from Christ, our lives epitomize the reflection of a broken mirror, that needs God’s Spirit, truth and community to heal.
There are 2 basic marks of sinfulness that every human has to grapple with:
- Immaturity – Demonstrated by a failure to take responsibility for your actions or situation in life and characterized by impulsive behaviour based upon how one feels.
- Insecurity – Underlying insecurity is FEAR. Fear of not being valuable or significant in your own eyes or the eyes of the world around you. Insecurity causes oneself to compare themselves to others and it results in coveting and jealousy of what someone else has.
None of us are born into this world fully mature or completely secure, be it physically, emotionally or spiritually. We have to experience a process of growth in all aspects of our humanity. Unfortunately, you can be fully mature physically and yet be immature spiritually and emotionally, if you haven’t responded to God’s work in your life. Maturity and security are byproducts of a healthy relationship with God, one’s self and others.
When we find that we miss the mark (and all of us do in some way and often), it’s not going to help to simply give up on yourself or on life but God gives us the grace and power to get up again and grow closer to the mark of maturity and security in Christ. All of us have missed the mark and fallen short of God’s intention and design for us but nothing in our past, present or future is a good enough excuse to give up on God’s love, grace and power to help us grow into the people he’s called us to be.
Living on purpose and living with passion go hand in hand because passion is connected to your holy discontent. In John 2:13-17 Jesus found people using God’s house for something it shouldn’t have been used for = commercial trade instead of relationship with God. Holy discontent rose up in Jesus heart and he became passionate about restoring the house of God to its original purpose.
A lack of passion in your life might suggest a disconnection from calling. I think ‘The Passion’ is a fitting title for Jesus death on the cross because it represents a fulfillment of calling for Jesus in seeking and saving the lost. When you connect to your calling, you will have your own ‘passion’ moment because it will be a natural byproduct of you walking in your purpose.
Passion will inspire you to get creative to resolve your holy discontent. Jesus saw the state of God’s house and he got intentional about changing it. The text says, ‘He made a whip of cords and drove out the money changers’. Passion inspires creativity within you to bring about change. Passion enables you to attempt things you would never have attempted on your own. Passion inspires you to pioneer new ministries, write books and songs and go where others haven’t gone before.
Passion isn’t insecure about what other people think. Jesus told the money changers where to go with their pigeons and business. Jesus knew what the call of God on the Father’s house was and he wasn’t going to let anyone bring a distraction to it. When you get a revelation of what God’s call on the House is, you will get passionate about protecting it. You can’t be passionate about God’s house and be worried about what people think of you. I can’t preach God’s word and be insecure about whether or not people approve of my preaching. I can’t build a church and be constantly checking with everyone, if they are OK with what we are building.
Passion is a God thing, not a personality thing. Never make passion about your personality. I’ve seen some of the most introverted people be extremely passionate when it comes to their call. Never let your wiring get in the way of your passion for God and his House. Don’t wait for the preacher or pastor or someone else to stir your passion. You stir up your own passion. Paul said, ‘Stir up the gift within you.’
Our best passion must be reserved for God’s House. Jesus saw Jesus’ passion in the temple and remembered the words of Psalm 69:9 “Zeal for your house will consume me.” God and his house deserves our best passion and energy. Passion is contagious and whatever you are most passionate about will be passed onto others. Connect to your purpose and passion will follow.
One of the biggest obstacles to our calling is ourselves. Too often we get in our own way and one of the keys to walking in the fulness of our call is to get out of our own way. I preached a sermon once called, “Get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit have his say.”
The biggest issue you are going to have to get over in your life and ministry is YOU. One of the reasons for delays in your life journey is God is working in you before he works through you. Unfortunately, there are issues lurking under the surface of our lives that need to be healed or removed or both, that if not dealt with, will continue to hold us back.
How do we get out of our own way?
- Become secure in who you are – Insecurity will close doors of opportunity in your face. Insecurity can be sniffed out a mile away and cause you to sabotage important relationships and personal success. Stop comparing yourself to others and start celebrating the uniqueness of who you are.
- Grow in self-awareness – Know thyself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What’s your dominant personality style? Where do you get energy from? Extroverted or introverted? The more you know about yourself, the more you can relate to the world around you from an informed perspective.
- Develop people skills – A lack of social awareness and minimal people skills can cut short your capacity to influence and thereby limit your call to a small sphere. Whatever your call is, it will involve people and helping people in one way or another is what ministry is all about. The Scriptures exhort us to not look only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. Listening and giving positive feedback is one of the first steps to learning how to relate to people.
- Do what you know you ought to do – Don’t procrastinate on what you know you ought to do. The Bible teaches, he who knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, for him it is sin. There are things that God asks us to do we delay on, that we need to obey… when we are asked to do it… not 6 months later or 6 years later. There are little things like, going to bed early, exercising daily, eating a healthy diet, returning the phone call, and saying ‘I love you’ that we know we ought to do but sometimes procrastinate on and we end up paying for it.
- Spend time with God – A lack of dependence upon God means you only have yourself to rely on and frankly, you’re not that good… either am I. We were never created to exist apart from God. Apart from God, we can do nothing but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
1 Samuel 9:21 “Saul answered, ‘Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?'”
Saul was called by God to be the first king of Israel. The prophet Samuel was asked by God to prophecy and anoint Saul to be the king but right from the very beginning Saul suffered from deep insecurity. Have a read of Saul’s journey and you will see how the seeds of insecurity under-minded his call all throughout his life.
Insecurity! Most of us suffer from it in some shape or another and it is often rooted in a person’s childhood. In fact many adults have an insecure child still in them due to a significant emotional trauma in their past. When I think about insecurity the image of a ball and chain comes to mind. Insecurity is a heavy weight that slows you down puts a cap on your potential as a person.
Insecurity is a feeling of unease and vulnerability due to a perception of feeling threatened in some way. Insecurity is a lack of confidence in our value as a person. Insecurity is a lack of security in who we are in our personal identity.
The symptoms of insecurity can range from isolation of others and withdrawal, through to developing a controlling personality, accompanied by aggressive behaviour. Insecure people can avoid confrontation or go the other way and engage in over-compensatory behaviour, such as trying to be the ‘life of the party’ when really they are just trying to cover up a hurt they don’t want others to see. To avoid being found out, insecurity puts up defense mechanisms in our minds to mask what we really feel inside.
Insecurity is unhealthy to our souls because it drives us to do all sorts of things that are unnatural to how God designed us or what he wants for us. Insecurity is dangerous to our call because it limits what God can do through us because we are always living with what other people think on our minds.
The remedy for insecurity begins with prayer and asking the Holy Spirit specifically to help take your insecurity away. You also need to ask God to gives you a revelation of your own self-worth in light of being created by God and what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross. You need to open the Scriptures and discover who you are in Christ. You also need to celebrate the gifts God has given to you and become comfortable with using them. I encourage you to completely avoid comparing yourself with others because this will only feed your insecurity. I encourage you to welcome people who compliment you and who can be a source of re-assurance to you. Don’t push away the very people God has called to encourage you along the way.
Insecurity is part of our fallen nature and a tool of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy your life. Ask the Great Physician himself to cut it out of our life, roots and all. It will destroy your relationships and steal the blessing God wants you to be to others. Lay aside the weight of insecurity by surrendering it at Jesus’ feet and pick up Jesus’ yoke and burden which is light and easy.