I was once the most insecure person I knew. As a young woman, I looked around and noticed that everyone else seemed to be comfortable in their own skin. I longed for that kind of freedom! I had my reasons for being so self-aware, but even as a Christ-follower, I could not—for the life of me—figure out how to get free.
Two experiences stand out to me that opened my eyes to how blind I’d been.
Up to this point, friends and loved ones tried to comfort me by saying, “But Susie, you are one of the kindest, sweetest people I know. You care about others more than yourself!” All I heard was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. None of it mattered because I knew I wasn’t free.
One day, I heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. “Susie, you continually rehearse of the all of the ways you fall short; you remember all of your sins and all of your missteps. And you know what? As bad as you think you are, you’re actually capable of worse than that! I’ve known all along how much you needed a Savior and I went to the cross for you. I died for every one of those sins.”
I didn’t need to be propped up with fluffy compliments; I needed to a fresh revelation of what Jesus paid for when He died for my sins.
Even though God met me and brought a measure of perspective, I still struggled with significant bouts of self-awareness and a bondage to others’ opinions. Then, another moment cinched it for me.
I was face down on the floor, crying out to God, “Where’s the victory, Lord? I fast, I pray, I read Your word, yet still, I’m so insecure. Where’s the victory I read about in Your word?”
The whisper came once again. “Susie, I know that you love Me. But you don’t seem to understand how much I love you. So, from now on, every time you’re compelled to tell Me that you love Me, turn it around. Say, “You love me, Lord.” Say it now.” So I opened my mouth, and let the words escape from my lips, You love me, Lord.
Speaking those words felt like a foreign language to me. But eventually the idea of God’s love got in and healed something in my soul. At first I wondered if this was some kind of self-help notion rather than a biblical one, but then I found this beautiful truth in scripture:
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10
He loved us first. He always loves us first. When I shifted my focus from my badness to God’s goodness, something settled within me. I realized that I was tethered, anchored, to a good, good God. I was more secure than I could ever comprehend. And, the more I actually believed God loved me, the more I was able to impart His love to others.
Did you know that insecurity is just another form of selfishness? We become so pre-occupied with ourselves, we fail to notice the beauty and the needs around us.
Recently on Middays, I spoke with Sharon Hodde Miller about her book, Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It's Not about You. She writes:
“Our me-centered culture affects every area of our lives—our relationships, calling, self-image, even our faith—and it negatively impacts EACH one. The self-focused life robs our joy, shrinks our souls, and is the reason we get stuck in insecurity.”
I wonder if we had a clearer picture of how much our insecurity costs us, if we’d be more motivated to put it under our feet? Did you know that for the Christ-follower, insecurity is really just an illusion?
Look what God has done because of the gift of His Son:
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6
He raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him. Let that sink in for a moment.
If you struggle to believe the truth about your identity, a good first step might be to believe what God says about—even if it doesn’t feel true. Begin to tell your soul that nothing and no one can ever change God’s mind about you.
Don’t let insecurity linger in your life. It’s a parasite. Deal ruthlessly with it. Send it packing. Embrace your God-given identity and God will open your eyes to a whole world waiting for your influence.