When God told Moses to go and deliver the Israelites from the cruel treatment and bondage of the Egyptians, Moses made some statements to God that revealed the insecurities he had.
Moses’ response was why me? I can’t do this, I’m the wrong person for the job, they won’t listen to me, I don’t talk very well, I’m not good with words, try someone else. They won’t believe a word I say, they won’t even believe you sent me (Exodus 4:1, 10, 13). Moses saw so many things wrong with himself, which put the fear of failure and rejection in him.
Whether we want to admit it or not we all have one, two or more insecurities that show up at different times in our lives. It could be insecurities about our looks – I look old, I’m not pretty, I’m too fat or too thin. I don’t dress well or have enough clothes. Or we battle with insecurities related with our background, our past and our abilities. I’m not smart enough, I don’t know this, I don’t know that, I’m not really a brilliant person, If only I knew all the things she knows. I can’t handle that assignment, I don’t communicate very well. I don’t have enough money, I don’t come from a rich family. I’m not sure anyone would want to marry me after all the things I have done, and on and on those thoughts and words that tell us we are not good enough keep coming to our heads and through our lips.
Then there are insecurities that have to do with people’s opinions about us or treatment of us. I’m not loved, liked, wanted, respected, accepted, appreciated. I don’t have friends, enough friends or true friends.
When we are insecure, we always believe the worst is being said about us or done to us. If our husband receives a phone call and smiles while talking, we conclude that he is talking to a lady he is having an affair with. If we aren’t invited to an event, like we need to be invited to every event, we assume that it’s because we are being looked down on. If we aren’t called upon to make a contribution during an office meeting, we wrongly infer that it’s because our boss doesn’t like us or he is planning to sack us that’s why he doesn’t want to involve us in office discussions.
When we are insecure we tend to do and say things to impress people to gain approval and be accepted. Saul was so concerned about what people thought of him, being liked and accepted by people that he forgot that the approval he needed was God’s not man. When Samuel delayed in coming to Gilgal and Saul noticed the people were scattering from him, to keep his ‘followers’ he quickly presented the burnt offering and peace offering to God, an assignment reserved for the priest of God (1 Samuel 13:8-12). Saul’s insecurities made him miss out on the great things God had planned and prepared for him as king of Israel. When we are insecure we can do anything to have friends, followers and likes, anything to belong. Unfortunately, while we are receiving thumbs up from people, the person who matters most – God – is displeased. But when we are secure in God, like Paul our stand becomes ‘For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10).
One thing that easily triggers feelings of insecurity is comparison. Most insecurities revolve round our achievements and accomplishments. Many of us feel uneasy and unconfident because of our financial or social stand, especially when we place ourselves side by side with our peers. Having a peer that is an MD or CEO of a top multinational company, while you are still on the level of an administrative staff or having a classmate who owns estates all over town, while you are still a tenant in a little house, can be disheartening and depressing for some people. The more we compare ourselves with others and try to measure up, the more insecurities we have. When you get into comparison, you would always find someone who thinks, talks, walks, looks better than you do, does things much better than you do, or has more things than you do. Some people who know how to respond to life maturely, would take that as an opportunity to improve. Many others get worked up, develop low self-esteem, get sad and depressed when faced with the achievements and strengths of others. The truth is that what we see in others isn’t always the whole and true picture. The fact that someone posted on instagram a picture of herself in the latest car, wearing the latest shoe and bag, doesn’t mean she is prospering and shining. For all you know, she bought those things on credit and is still struggling to pay up. No wonder the Bible tells us that it is utter foolishness to compare ourselves with others (2 Corinthians 10:12). Luke 12:15 also tells us that our life is not defined by what we have and wear. There’s no reward in heaven for being the richest person on earth, but there are tons of blessings that come to those who are blessings to others, even if all you have to offer is a smile or warm hug to someone who is feeling down.
Our insecurities stem from what we believe about ourselves, how we see ourselves. The starting point to overcoming our insecurities is to step away from what we think of ourselves, what other people have said about us and think about us, and focus on what God says about us. The closer we draw to God, the easier it is to accept and believe all the things God says we are. When God’s truth about who we are begins to sink deep into our hearts, we realize and appreciate how valuable we are to God, and our fears and insecurities melt away. Like Moses discovered, when we yield our lives to God, step away from our insecurities and do what God wants us to do even if we think we can’t do it or aren’t the right person for the assignment, we discover the amazing power of God that resides in us. Our fears whether real or imagined can be overcome as we walk with God. Moses’ greatest fear – facing and confronting Pharaoh, became the most interesting part of his life and his greatest testimony of God’s faithfulness. May God turn our fears and insecurities to our greatest testimonies and victories.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pexel