Love Kills My Insecurity
Unsure of myself. Wondering if I can connect with others. Insecure and uneasy in my own skin. These are often the emotions and descriptions of my heart. Depending on the situation, these descriptors may be strong or weak. If I’m around friends whom I know love and accept me, the temptation for insecurity is weak. But if I’m around those I don’t know well or I think I need to impress, insecurity often raises its ugly head.
Since becoming a Christian in 2001, God has taught me much in this area and helped me to grow in my fight against sin. One thing I’ve come to see is that the root of my insecurity is a loveless fear of man. The fear of man is when we act or direct our emotions based on how we hope others will perceive us. It is to live for the praise of others. This approach only breeds insecurity and is rooted in pride and idolatry. Concern for others’ well-being (love) is replaced with an obsessive concern for how one is perceived by others–with the assumption that one’s reputation is of ultimate importance. Such an approach is evil and foolish. But Christ delivers us from the sin of living for self, that we might live for his pure and wonderful glory. Christ calls us out of the darkness of selfish living, that we might be free to live for God and to love others.
As I consider my battles in this area, I find that love kills my insecurity. If I’m tempted to be filled with a fear of what others think of me, pursuing a love of God and love of others destroys this evil tendency and fills me with a humble confidence. Practically, here’s my approach:
First, I recognize the fear of man in my heart. This fear is manifested in insecure feelings about upcoming social interactions: ‘What do others think of me?’ ‘How can I possibly connect with others who probably do not think much of me?’ These thoughts are self-concerned and self-centered. (They are also idolatrous, as I am in a very real sense living for something other than God).
Second, I repent of the fear of man. I confess to God that my heart has turned from serving Him and others to serve my own self and my own glory. With this, I acknowledge that I have chosen sin, rebellion, pride, and folly, and turn away from these thoughts.
Third, I ask God to empower me to love Him and others. Love for God and others is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit filling and strengthening me to live a godly life (Gal 5:22-23). As I commune with God in prayer, I often see my heart lifted out of the muck of self-pity and self-love, to a place with my heart is filled with love for God and others.
Fourth, I pray that God gives me wisdom on how to love others. Now my concerns are no longer ‘How can I connect well with others?’ (a question with insecure roots), but ‘How can I love and serve others for the glory of God?’ (a question rooted in love for God and others). Insecurity loses its strength and is replaced with love.
I’m still learning and growing in this area, but have found this approach to be very helpful. In the end, love and insecurity (rooted in the fear of man) cannot coexist. Love kills my insecurity.