I struggle with insecurity.
That feels so good to admit.
You should try saying it.
I struggle with insecurity and to overcompensate, I become overconfident and try to power up over the massive fears and doubts I have. If that doesn’t work, I then become passive over things and say, If I’m going to be rejected, or if I’m going to fail, then I don’t really care.
But I do care. I’m just insecure.
Here’s a suggested definition of insecurity:
Insecurity: my awareness of the gap between who I am and who I want to be.
We all feel the gap of who we desire to be and who we really are – at work, as a parent, as a friend, as a dreamer.
Here are two forms of insecurity you or your loved ones face every day:
Talent insecurity is when we believe we don’t have what the circumstance requires. We think, I’m not fast enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not creative enough. I’m not spiritual enough. I’m not gifted enough, so therefore I’m not good enough. We allow insecurity to creep into our mindset from who we are in our limited talent compared to who we’d like to be.
Colossians 3:23 says, Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
This verse doesn’t say, whatever you do, use your talents. Instead, it’s about dedication. God wants your heart. He wants to see your effort in working hard for Him. It’s not about giftedness to God, it’s about effort. Too many people foolishly want to attribute someone’s success to ability, saying, They’re so gifted, it comes easy to them. They must’ve got a lucky break, right place right time.
When The Beatles burst onto the scene in the early 1960’s (which, to all Millennials reading, The Beatles were a band of 4 British musicians), they came into fame and celebrity status so quickly. Seemingly they took over the world in 3 years and everyone was like, They are so mega-talented. It wasn’t always like that. Before all the accolades, the band spent 7 days a week in this dirty strip bar in Germany, 4-6 shows a day in front of 10 people for several years. It was their hard work that eventually paid off. They had talent all along, their earnest effort eventually led to the legacy they gained.
We see someone gain immense success and we automatically assume that it was due to mere talent. People have their gifts, God has given them those gifts, but the gift cannot be utilized without effort and to God, effort trumps talent.
All the Lord wants from you is: You. He wants effort. Not talent, just a willingness to obey. And then God is going to move.
The other type of insecurity we face daily is,
Personal Insecurity is a bit deeper and a bit more potentially destructive than thoughts of talent insecurity. It’s thoughts of, I can’t allow myself to forgive myself. I can’t believe God has accepted me. There’s no way God would want to use me because of what I’ve done. It’s when you see yourself as sinful when, after faith and repentance, God sees you as clean.
I’ve let God down more times than I can count. I’ve broken relationships due to my sin and insecurity. He can’t use me.
I have insecurities. In God’s perfect plan, both of my daughters are adopted. We adopted each daughter right out of the womb, met each girl at the hospital they were born in.
One of my wife’s strong desires is to be pregnant. While there is science and technology which we have tried, I’m the reason why she can’t be pregnant. Her and I together, barring a miracle, have a zero chance to conceive. I have insecurity over that. Even though her and I both know that we couldn’t love anyone more than our daughters, even if a baby came out of my womb. Crosbee Lane and Izzy Cate, our girls, they are us. But I still feel insecurity.
I have other insecurities, and they’re more serious than the big forehead I have.
I work too much. I know many of you work earnestly as well. Working hard sounds good, especially after we talked about God wanting to see our effort alongside our gifts, but my motivation in working too much is laced in insecurity. I work too much because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m lazy. When I forget how God accepts me before I could do anything in terms of effort or success, I want to work to show others how amazing I can be.
I know with my confessions of insecurity people can say, It’s okay. You’re loved, but the thing about insecurity is that it doesn’t matter what people say. What matters is what’s in your heart.
Too often we have this awareness that we aren’t who we need to be, so how to we fill that awareness with God?
I suggest two practical steps to fighting insecurity:
Accept the flaws and limitations you can’t change.
You have to accept the flaws you can’t change. I’m infertile. I have a past that I can’t change. Accept your current limitations and your past mistakes.
Now, this isn’t saying you should accept that you’re impatient. God can change that. Or that you lust all day, God can change that. Or that you’re greedy, God can change that.
God knows what He’s doing with you. If you were fired from your job or went through a divorce or had an addiction or hurt a loved one, accept it. You’re not a failure, stop worrying, put it to prayer. God knows what He’s doing. You can’t win that game, you can’t get that raise, you can’t find love, you can’t make money, you can’t think like them, you can’t you can’t you can’t. Accept it right now. That means stop the justifications. Own it.
The days of our lives are ordered at no surprise to God. He knows your situation. He knows your upbringing. He knows your past. He knows what you think you can’t do. Your life is in His hands. He’s got the whole world, in His hands. We trust that song as children and then in our pride and anxiety we don’t believe it as adults.
Accept this is how things are. This is the awesome thing about being a Christian. God wants to work through the broken. I can’t get my wife pregnant and yet we have two beautiful daughters.
Romans 8:28 says, We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
When you accept that you can’t change the past, you can’t change the gifts or the limits you have, you can’t change the situation sometimes, and you partner with God, lean on God, wait on God, He will work all things for the good. All of us, if we could go back, we would do the things we did differently, but you can’t go back. Accept His grace and go forward.
In Alcoholics Anonymous they say a prayer, that wasn’t originated by the non-profit, but still effective. It was a prayer originally found in the hallway of a rundown motel in France, inscribed on a wall. The prayer says, God, grant me the serenity (the peace) to accept the things that I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can. Example: Can a husband change that he emotionally hurt his wife in anger last week? Nope. Can he change going forward to not be hurtful toward her? Yep.
Concentrate on God, not the Gap.
Remember, insecurity is the gap of who I want to be and who I currently am. In order for God to keep growing you, using you, leading you toward the person He has destined you to be, you have to trust Him daily. You cannot veer away from Him. When you veer away from God, you head toward insecurity.
The title of your biography should be I trust the Lord. One chapter is about your childhood and it’s called, I Trust the Lord. One chapter is about you becoming a follower of Christ and it’s called, I Trust the Lord. One chapter is about family. One is about work. One is about suffering. One is about moving. One is about disease. One is about dreams. Each chapter is called, I Trust the Lord, I Trust the Lord. And newsflash, if you’re still breathing, God still has chapters to write with you. Relational heartache, job loss, cancer, depression, it could be coming your way. When you are focused on God and not on your insecurity, you can respond to anything headed your way with, I trust the Lord.
And that will be a more impartial legacy.
You are loved. Thanks for reading.