I recently read a brilliant and beautiful article, The Three Most Common Causes of Insecurity and How to Beat Them by Dr. Melanie Greenburg. In her article, she offers very helpful steps to teach readers how to overcome insecurity. She states, and it’s so true, insecurity can often take root in us 1) after rejection or failure, 2) because we struggle with social anxiety, or 3) because we burden ourselves with trying to be perfect.
I personally understand this state of mind and the longing to be rid of it only too well!
As the middle kid between a rebellious older sister, and a physically ill younger one, I was often the “little mama” in our home, looking after myself by myself and taking on a lot of adult sized burdens. Perfectionism and keeping everything under control was my way of coping. Additionally, I felt criticized often so rejection was thrown into the mix! All of this created an anxious child never wanting to make a mistake in front of others and that’s no way to live.
Perhaps, you’ve been through some similar things. But thank God who gives us the way out of these prisons. Faith has helped me to win in this battle. Because of that, I want to share five truths I learned along the way about how to overcome insecurity.
1. The Root of Insecurity is Condemnation
One of the most helpful diagrams I have ever seen is found in Pastor Joseph Prince’s book, Destined to Reign. Pastor Prince explains in this book that God gave him a vision which then became the diagram. What his picture portrays is a sickly plant with wilting leaves that are labeled “destructive habits,” “sicknesses,” and “financial lack.” That is a picture of the struggles people may have on the surface of their lives.
Beneath the ground, the plant has roots labeled “stress” and “fear.” (Insecurity is a form of fear.) And then, underneath these smaller roots lies the deepest, sickest root labeled “condemnation.” This is a picture of what goes on in many people. On the surface are negative ways of interacting with the world, but at the deepest place in those struggling, may be a large root of condemnation, feeling not good enough, guilty, unlovable.
Condemnation Can Go Away Completely
The good news is when the deep root in us of feeling unworthy is “treated” with the forgiveness, love, healing, and transformed thinking that come from God, the condemnation can be driven out and then on the surface of a life, everything blooms as it was intended to do, including feeling secure and confident.
Entrance into this state of freedom is through believing Jesus Christ came to give it to us. Scripture declares, “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NIV) When you believe Jesus died for you, you can come to believe the second part of that truth. He died to gift you with His righteousness and help you to lose feelings of lacking worth.
2. Discovering God’s Heart Makes Us Secure
Our insecurity can be further defined as feelings of self-doubt, low or no confidence, feeling like an imposter even though we’re accomplished, feeling undeserving, disliking ourselves, our looks, our personality. It’s all those things and more. Because we feel condemned as mentioned above, we feel any disapproval, rejection, or abandonment is deserved. We earned it.
But, finding out how God feels about us changes everything!
He says, “Even if your father and mother abandon you, I will hold you close.” Psalm 27:10
And, similar words are found in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
You are mine…
Or. how about these thoughts of God, “I have called you by name and you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 And,” I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
Words of love for us overflow from the Bible. Though people may reject us, God does not.
Indeed, there is a name for the enemy of God and he’s our adversary too, satan. He is called the “accuser of the brethren.” Night and day, he tries to convince us that we are unloved. You could say, and rightly so, that satan is the author of insecurity. Is it not advisable then, to change the channel? God says, “I love you with an unconditional love.” Shall we believe Him and challenge our own thoughts that “pick on us?”
3. Others Struggle With Insecurity Too
Our church has started up a fall program of Celebrate Recovery. Though helpful to those with substance abuse problems, in fact, they’re only about 30% of the people who participate. Many people come because they have other struggles, habits, and hang-ups they need to get over. I am helping in this program, as I have worked many years with addicts. They asked each one of us in leadership to say, very transparently, where God has healed us. I told them exactly what I shared above – perfectionism and overcoming the effects of rejection and critique.
Others among the leadership were open about what they have overcome or what area still needs healing. The “sky did not fall in” when people were real with one another. In fact, it was comforting for each one to know, “I’m not the only one who is still growing.” Realizing that keeps you from thinking you’re the one flawed human being in a sea of people who have it all together. Indeed, they don’t!
4. Being Kind Distracts Us From Insecurity
The apostle Peter wrote that “love covers a multitude of sins.” It’s so amazing that when we are kind and making an effort to think of the comfort of the people around us and what their inner battle might be, we’re so much less focused on ourselves. When you go to a social gathering and perhaps feel shy or awkward, think about looking for someone else who seems alone, maybe ill at ease. In fact, try talking with them and making them comfortable. It’s amazing how you forget your so-called “flaws” and instead begin to feel a sense of worth. Why? Because you took care of someone else.
I think this saying has been around for a while. The author is unknown to me. I first saw it taped to the back of a cash register in my favorite deli. “Be kind.” it read. “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Truly, so many people feel insecure to some degree. There are countless people who need help with this.
5. Prayer for Overcoming Insecurities
Again, the great remover of insecurity is God. He never leaves us or forsakes us. God is not fickle or cruel like people. The precious line in scripture, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” is so revealing. God’s love ISN’T based on our works or perfection, but on His own goodness. (Romans 5:8 KJV)
Jesus Culture has a beautiful song about the way of God that should swallow up insecurity. The lyrics say:
“Your love never fails. It never gives up. Never runs out on me.”
So, our prayer:
Father, we thank you that in your eyes we are so lovable and so highly esteemed. Why? Because you are love. We thank you that your love never fails, it never gives up and your love never runs out for any one of us. Father, for those still struggling with feeling unwanted, unloved, not quite as good as others, deliver them from those feelings. Wash their insecurity away by your Spirit at work, and fill each one with abundant and overflowing love. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
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