We’ve all been there…Maybe you show up at an event where you don’t know anyone, or you roll in for your first day of work at a new job, or you’re stuck in conversation with that person you can never figure out how to talk to, and suddenly you’re unsure of yourself, convinced you’re totally out of place and inadequate. Or even worse, maybe that insecurity isn’t just a momentary thing, and you’re at the point where you’re paralyzed by insecurity all the time.
There’s only a few things every single human person has in common, and one of them is insecurity. Not only can insecurity be paralyzing, it changes the way we look at our circumstances and other people as well. You know why? Because insecurity reveals something we believe, at the deepest level, about God, and by extension it says something about what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our insecurities reveal what we believe about our identity. And identity shapes perspective.
At one point in my life, I dominated at baseball. Those were the glory days, man…Nine or ten years old, pitching shutout games, the crowds of parents going wild. My dad was my baseball coach, and one time after I pitched a game we won, he told me in the car, “Yeah, you did pretty good, but you hit one guy, and you walked two guys.” That stuck with me. I’m sure my dad told me what I’d done well too, but all I heard was the critique.
But my perspective in that conversation really came from my insecurity: I felt like I wasn’t enough. And for a long time, that insecurity became a way of being.
I’m sure that’s happened to you. Out of an entire conversation, all you can remember is that one comment that highlighted your insecurities.
Our insecurities become a filter for how we perceive the world.
Here’s what we all have to learn about insecurities: we can never “pacify” them away. Compliments aren’t cures; affirmation from other people will never fill up the what we feel we’re lacking…So there has to be another answer, right? Something we say a lot around Crossroads, where I’m a pastor, is we’re all in process. We’re all working out this thing called life, and it’s hard! But if we choose to say to our insecurities, “Hey, I’m in process, and I’m going to keep moving forward” that takes all the fear and all the power away from our insecurities, and we won’t be paralyzed anymore.
This is your only job — in life and in facing insecurities: keep going, and keep trusting Jesus. And the crazy, backwards thing is when you trust Jesus with your “in-process” life, you’re free to actually enjoy the process. And that’s where real growth happens.
So here’s the deal: we really won’t ever be able to live up to our expectations. We weren’t made to!! Life can be so full of mistakes we’ve made and consequences that were never our fault, and it’s easy to disqualify ourselves from peace. But when Jesus redeemed us from our sins, He gave us a security that can’t change or be removed, no matter what happens to us or what people say about us. Can you imagine that? We don’t have to worry about being loved, if we matter, or if our lives have meaning. Jesus showed us we are totally valuable to him when He died on the cross for you and for me. The cross neutralized our insecurity.
All that being said…
Enjoy the process. Allow God’s love for you to fill the insecurities you’re facing.