Walking into the room, she instinctively takes stock of her competition as she straightens her shirt and lifts her chin up a notch.
He’s used to being the one with all the answers. And it’s terrifying for him to think about what others would say if they realized what a fraud he is.
She slips into a seat in the back row, hoping no one will notice her. It’s the safest way for her: Don’t get close enough to be rejected.
Have you ever felt insecure? It’s something we all deal with and is often an ongoing battle we face as we attempt to live our lives with authenticity and courage.
But if we stay in this place of insecurity, it eats away at our emotional health and, in fact, our very sense of identity. Emotionally healthy people exhibit healthy boundaries with others, owning their own feelings without taking on responsibility for the feelings and choices of others. There will be an ease in forgiveness, a lack of bitterness. Gratitude, positivity and trust in God will also be manifest in the way they live each day.
But an insecure person has an unpredictable, shifting foundation underlying their core beliefs.
“’Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash’” Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT).
When we rely on people more than we rely on God, we have established ourselves on sand. The approval of people shifts constantly, whereas God’s approval for you never does. His love is secure, solid, strong.
And when life’s circumstances try to beat down your house, if your foundation is based on others, it will collapse. But, if you’re secured to a solid, rather than shifty, foundation, no circumstance of life can shake you in the core of your identity and confidence in God’s love.
Let’s rewind to the 90s for a moment, shall we? Do you remember the movie, Twister? Toward the end, as Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton’s characters are attempting to outrun a tornado, they realize their only chance for survival is to anchor themselves to something stable. They find a pipe buried deeply into the ground and strap themselves to it. The incredible winds come, they are lifted off the ground in the eye of the storm, feet pointed to the sky, but they are secure. When the storm passes, they’re alive, still attached to their anchor.
So, how do we move from a place of insecurity to a place of security? Here are four things to keep in mind:
1. Know who God is and how deeply and unconditionally He loves you. (Romans 8:37-39)
God is love, and His love for you isn’t based on your performance, but rather your position as His son or daughter. Parents don’t love their children because of performance; parents love their kids simply because they are their kids.
2. Know who you are according to God; believe it, speak it. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You are a son or a daughter of God. You are an heir alongside Jesus. You are loved. You are designed with intentionality. You are not a mistake. You are here to reflect the glory of God through your life.
3. Know that you have a unique purpose that only you are designed to fulfill. (1 Peter 2:9)
It’s pointless to compare ourselves to others because they have a purpose all their own, just as we do. Live in expectancy of fulfilling your unique purpose, and enjoy the fact that you’re the only one with your set of gifts, strengths, interests and influences.
4. Know that it’s not your job to please others; it is our job to please God alone. (Galatians 1:10)
If we’re seeking to please God, then others who are also seeking to please Him will be drawn to our genuine selves, rather than a facade we create. Facades will fade, but being ourselves can last forever.
One of the most attractive types of people are those who are secure in who they are. When my husband and I first met, we were both right in the center of God’s will for us, passionately pursuing Him and not worried about what others had to say. If that assurance in who we are as individuals in Christ hadn’t been there, no amount of physical attraction would’ve sufficed.
Early in our marriage, I entered a three-year period clouded by depression and insecurity. It was frustrating for my husband to see me doubt myself and God’s calling on me, especially after having married me at the height of my passion for God and life. He wasn’t just attracted to my appearance; he was attracted to my zeal for life and my love for God.
I’m so thankful for his commitment to love me regardless of where I was emotionally, and for his continued prayers and prodding me back to my passions. Sometimes he has to remind me where my security is truly found. It’s not found in making other people happy by my choices. It’s found in seeking God, obeying and trusting in Him.
If you’re facing insecurity in any area of your life today, take some time and ask God to show you more of who He is and who you are in Him. Ask Him about what your unique purpose in this life is. And ask for His help to continue to release the desire to please others and, instead, seek to please Him above everyone else.