DEALING WITH INSECURITY
BY JOE FAUSS
What can be done about this tormenting plague? I used to think that it affected a few. Now I'm convinced that it is a universal tormenting problem.
I remember a day back in 1980 when some ministry leaders were in my office and we were discussing this subject. "It is very difficult when you put someone into leadership that is insecure." one leader said, "...And we attract so many in ministries like this. Is there hope?
When I was in the fifth grade, I entered politics. I became a candidate for president... of the Student Council. I do not remember any shyness or insecurity as I ran for the office or during my "speech". I was elected and with confidence I led the assemblies during my sixth grade year. Then, a traumatic thing happened! I went to Junior High School. I entered the seventh grade. Yes, that is traumatic to face the peer pressure of others struggling with their own adolescence. I also had some other things happening in my life. My brother, who was 8 years older than I and a mission's student at a Bible College, was killed in an automobile accident. At the funeral people would look at me and say, "Joe, will you take his place?" In my shock and grief, I would respond, "Yes, I will." During the following days and years, I moved into an emotional shell filled with fear of others and uncertainty about my worth and identity. I was afraid of social settings. When High School elections came along, again I was elected. I was voted the "quietest boy in the choir." I was in a shell. I was miserable. I was very insecure.
What causes insecurity?
First of all, I want to assure you that just as God is good, Satan is evil. Just as Jesus is the Savior, the devil is the destroyer. This evil force will use any flaw or weakness to make anyone a victim. One of the causes is child abuse. When a child does not get the acceptance, love, nurture, correction, and guidance needed, the results will most definitely be feelings of rejection and insecurity. A child, (or really anyone) desires praise from their parents, their wife, and their special friends. If instead, they get criticism, it hurts. Much of insecurity comes from past hurts.
There are many tormenting voices that enter the soulish area of man. This is the source of temptation, discouragement, and accusation. Satan will take ground given to him through a wounded spirit and begin to accuse the Christian. He is called the "accuser of the brethren." He is the "father of lies" and he will communicate tormenting lies to your soul and spirit. Insecurity is a result of believing the lies of the devil. It comes by not accepting yourself as God does. It comes by allowing Satan to gain ground in your life and build a fortress from which to attack you. If you give him a toehold, it will turn into a foothold and finally into a stronghold in your life. Insecurity is definitely a stronghold that needs to be broken.
For me, I now believe that I was trying to fill my brother's shoes. I had to find my own identity. I also found it hard to still fit in with my Junior High School friends. The high standards of Christianity my parents had instilled in me (I'm very thankful for them) were very different than the permissive behavior of my peers.
Insecurity has a high price. It will produce torture, both mental and emotional. It will turn its victim into a man pleaser. He has such a desire for acceptance that he will cater to another's expectations. If that special one to whom he desires acceptance has bias and prejudice, he will tend to feed it yearning for acceptance at any cost. The insecure person will be very clumsy in social settings and try too hard to fit in. He will not always be a shy, timid person. The loud, braggadocios people are really insecure inside. There will be many inadequate and disappointing relationships.
What a state to be in! When you merge this condition with the authority of a position, the result can be control and cultism. When a person believes the lies of the devil and withdraws to a shell, he really withdraws from God's plan and vision. He is unable to use God's giftings. As he continues to look inward, he adds many destructive elements to his life. The fall out will be resentment, bitterness, self-pity, jealousy, false pride, and living in denial. His longing for freedom and relationships can bring homosexuality and other perverted sex.
There are many theories that promise solution to this plague.
False security is as bad as insecurity. Today, in success motivation circles, you hear a lot about how to cope with this problem. The end result most of the time is just verbalizing and boasting. There will be mood swings and after great highs, there will be inner torment.
Now, where is the cure? We tend to want some complex solution. The answer for our lives is really simple. It is sin that has made our lives so complex. Simply, the cure is to possess the love of the Heavenly Father by experiencing His perfect and loving Fatherhood. In 1 John 2:15, a real error exists. "Love not the world, neither the things in the world, for if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Now don't get alarmed. There is no error in that scripture. The error is in our thinking. We think it says, the love FOR the Father, but it says the love OF the Father. What we need is a revelation of the love of God.
Recently, at a home cell group, one of the ladies began to lead a song. Suddenly, I heard," Jesus, You're the lover of my soul." Now, I knew the song, but I began to weep. It was a new revelation of His love. It was not based on my actions, but on His attribute. I was suddenly aware that I was growing in my knowledge of His love. I was becoming more secure. Can you believe it? He accepts us. We are his highest creation.
What is the love of God? It was expressed as He sent His son into the world. It is understood by His tenderness to men in sparing not, but giving Christ up unto death for all of us. It is the sufficiency of the atonement. It is the sufferings He endured, the burden that sinners should have borne. It is expressed in the holiness and compassion of the Godhead. We can begin to understand His love when we have a revelation of the peace, the pardon, and the freeness offered by His reconciliation.
He wants us to have this revelation.
How do we appropriate this cure? You must come as a child and discover your Heavenly Father. You must put your past behind you at all cost. Listen to His plea. "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord, Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) We must allow the Father to receive us. When we realize that we are accepted by a Loving Heavenly Father, we can walk free from the plague of insecurity. Look at God's promise to David. "I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men. But my love will never be taken away from him...(2 Sam 7:14-15)." God speaks through His prophet, "...In the place where it says to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called, `sons of the living God.' (Hosea 1:10). Isaiah promised, "...You will be called by a new name. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land, Beulah. Hephzibah means, "My delight is in her," and Beulah means, "married." Wow! There is hope! You don't have to feel deserted and insecure when God has a new name for you. He promises that you can be secure in relationships. Take a look at this song:
I will change your name.
You will no longer be called
Wounded, Outcast, Lonely, or Afraid.
I will change your name,
Your new name will be,
Confidence, Joyfulness, Friend of God,
One who seeks My face.
You may hear that an insecure person needs self-esteem. I disagree. We don't need self-esteem; we need self-understanding. We need to recognize our weaknesses and turn to Christ for His strength. We don't need self-confidence. We need Christ confidence.
I am not talking about getting yourself turned on every morning by standing in front of your mirror and saying, "Hey champ! Your a King's Kid." That can be as empty as your insecurity. I am talking about a quiet, confidence that will let you walk consistently in freedom. Look at this promise, "In returning a rest, you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength (Isaiah 30:15).
What we need is Christ confidence. Look at His quiet confidence. At age 12, Jesus said to his parents, "I must be about My Father's business." He was not being argumentive. He simply knew who He was. Paul was aware of Christ confidence. He said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:17)." Now, we really come to an understanding of confidence when we have to face our enemies." Look at the quiet confidence of Jesus. When the disciples were excited over their power over the devil, Jesus responded, "I saw Satan fall from Heaven like a flash of lightning." When Satan tempted Jesus, He had no fear. He did not look at Satan as a monster. He simply said, " It is written..." "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" he said to Judas. Even His silence shows His confidence. He responded to Pilate, " You would have no power unless it had been given you by my Father. The High Priest said, "Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?" He confidently replied, "I am...(Mark 14:62).
You can receive the courage and the boldness needed in your life if you will accept Christ confidence. You must believe that if you have been truly born again, you are a child of the Heavenly Father. He has received you. Let Him hug you with His everlasting arms. You possess the confidence of Christ. You must maintain your position daily. Recognize that you can overcome being a pleaser of men. You can overcome a feeling of failure. You can learn to rejoice daily in His love and care for you. You must turn from loving the world and let the love of God be in you. You must be part of a local fellowship of believers where you can be edified and edify others. The stronghold of insecurity can be pulled down through the mighty power of God. Let this be your promise: (Psalm 42:6).
Additional copies are available upon request from Calvary Commission, P.O. Box 100, Lindale, Texas 75771.
Joe Fauss is International Director of Calvary Commission.