by LESLIE SPEAS
Do you sometimes feel insecure about who you are and where you are going in life? Insecurity is defined as a significant lack of self-confidence, a strong fear of others’ disapproval or rejection, or a chronic sense of inferiority. It involves a deep sense of doubt about your worth and place in the world. Insecurity comes in many different shapes and forms. Some people are insecure about their bodies while others are ashamed about their work, upbringing, possessions, intelligence, looks, social skills, etc.
Whether we are aware of it or not, our insecurities often seep into our relationships and impact our behavior. Insecurities may stem from past traumas or events you have experienced, often going back to childhood. Maybe you grew up in an unstable or broken home. Or you lost a loved one. Or you were picked on as a child because you were overweight or uncool. Kids can really be mean – bullying and teasing can have a lasting impact.
Here’s an example. A girl may internalize fears resulting from her dad leaving her mother that will impact her future relationships. This was an issue for me. I went through several bad relationships before I was able to work through my fears and insecurities. As in my example, to free yourself from insecurity, you have to recognize what is making you insecure. This may take some serious soul-searching and prayer. But, if you become more aware of your insecurities, it takes away some of their power because you understand when and how they come into play.
Satan loves it when we question who we are and how we measure up. He wants us to feel insecure about the meaning and purpose of our lives, where we’re going and how we’ll get there. Whatever it is that has contributed to your feelings of insecurity, God wants to use it for good. He wants to use the situation to refine, not define you. He wants you to grow and mature into a stronger person because of it.
Gideon, a character in the book of Judges, is a great example of someone in the Bible that grappled with overcoming insecurity. While he was harvesting wheat and hiding from the Midianites in a wine press, an angel spoke to him and addressed him as a mighty man of courage. The angel told Gideon that God was sending him to save Israel from the Midianites. Gideon was insecure and didn’t feel at all worthy to do this. See below for his response to this request.
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Judges 6:15
Gideon was listening to the voice in his head and didn’t trust God’s plan. We all have these voices that come from other people – a disapproving parent, a boss, a teacher or even ourselves. His insecurity caused him to ask God for not just one, but two, miraculous signs to strengthen his faith. This part of Gideon’s story shows us that mastering our insecurities doesn’t happen in a moment. We will likely have successes and failures. But, through it all, God is patient and kind.
To overcome insecurity, we must try to see ourselves the way God sees us and know who we are in Christ. Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong! (Ephesians 2:19-22) Here are some scriptures that reinforce this point.
“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4
“And, that is what some of you were. But, you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
True security comes when you recognize that “He will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19