“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Have you ever noticed how insecurity takes some of the most common, innocent, and pervasive components of our life and transforms them into relational weapons or instruments of emotional self-mutilation? That might sound like a flamboyantly worded melodrama unless you have lived with insecurity.
Questions, silence, clarifications, pauses, compliments (of you or others), words of gratitude, and any other aspect of the fabric of relationships get filtered through the lens of suspicion and self-doubt – “What did they mean by that? Are they upset? Why did they choose that word? Why did they say nothing? Did I say too much?”
- Questions begin to mean that you don’t think I know the answer.
- Silence always infers that you are upset with me or I have offended you.
- Compliments send the message that I am this way today, but you only noticed because usually I am not.
- Gratitude means I usually overlook these kinds of details or that I am awkward enough that you were just looking for something to be able to say in conversation with me.
Nothing can just be what it is. Everything has a deeper meaning. If only I were normal, popular, intelligent, or something; then people would not have to play this game with me. But I am not, so I get stuck in this game and I hate it. But that is who I am and I’m sorry… O-KAY! Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent. I just get worked up sometimes. I know that’s weird. I hate that it made reading this chapter awkward for you. I will try not to do it again. But if you don’t want to continue reading, I completely understand. I probably wouldn’t either. But I have said too much already. I’m sorry.
Do you ever think like that? Does an unreturned phone call or e-mail get you spinning with scenarios of relational turmoil? Do innocent questions (if you believe there are such things) sometimes hit you with the force of an insult? How many times do you replay and consider the possible reactions to a comment in small group or a joke with friends? For what kind of events, challenges, opportunities, or roles do you write yourself off out of fear?
Hopefully we can begin to see that insecurity (or the fear of man as it is more commonly referred to in Scripture) is something we all struggle with to some degree. It goes by many names in our culture: peer pressure, codependency, social anxiety, timidity, being “sweet,” people-pleasing, etc… The goal of this chapter is to walk you through the three big pieces of insecurity, so that you can target and reduce the pieces that most influences your life most.
Defining “Biblical Security”
Biblical security is a disposition of stability that allows for a patient and an increasingly accurate interpretation of personal performance, interpersonal interactions, and circumstances in the midst of situations that are as yet uncertain, incomplete, challenging, or negative. Biblical security acknowledges that failure, criticism, and personal sin will occur; however, it does not allow the legitimate guilt, disappointment, or embarrassment of these events to create instability or dash hope.
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