Insecurities and Our Identity in Christ
The title to this piece is filled with eye-catching buzzwords that seem to pop up in the occasional deep conversation, but what do these ideas really mean to us? Everyone faces insecurities. I definitely do and it's a form of fear -- it's symptomatic of a significant lack of self-confidence, or a powerful fear of others' disapproval or rejection, or a chronic sense of inferiority. But why do we feel this way? This leads to questions about identity, what we believe in and love, what we strive for, what we feel offers hope. When something threatens our personal sense of identity, we feel like we have failed, and that we are vulnerable and lost. This is when it manifests in different ways, it could be avoiding the topic at hand, searching for affirmation from friends or giving in to addictive behaviours as a form of escapism. For me it definitely involves addictively binge-watching random anime clips on YouTube for hours (the occasional K-drama scene pops up). That may seem harmless (goodbye grades) but it runs deeper than that. It influences how we act, what decisions we make and raises questions about where our identity lies and what really becomes important to us when the going gets tough. As a Christian, it should be obvious that God should be at the centre of our lives, but being the sinful creatures we are, it's honestly easier said than done. We always fall away and sink into thinking that we can solve these issues ourselves. But God always wants us to examine it, not to be afraid or run away. Slowly, I'm starting to give more of myself to God, to reject the false beliefs and lies about myself and to always remember that the almighty God who created all things wants to have a relationship with me. Here are some promises mentioned in the bible that rebukes any insecurity we may have of ourselves: (taken from desiringgod.org)
Have we sinned and sinned greatly? In Christ "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14).
Do we feel like orphans, strangers, and aliens? In Christ we have been adopted by God to be his children and are now members of his household and heirs of all things with Christ. (Ephesians 1:5; 2:19 and Romans 8:17).
Do we feel like miserable failures? In Christ, almost incredibly, every failure will work for an ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
Do we feel weak and inadequate? In Christ God loves to choose the weak and foolish things because, when we are weak, he promises that his grace will be sufficient for us (1 Corinthians 1:27-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Do we feel insignificant and unimportant? In Christ we were chosen by God (John 15:16), who purposefully assigned us a unique and needed function in his body (1 Corinthians 12:18).
God designed insecurities to fuel our desire to serve him more, not to rely on ourselves and to seek the approval of man but to repent and seek the kingdom of God. Here are some bible verses that always encouraged me to place my identity in Christ, that I no longer have to rely on addictions or approval from friends to find peace in my life's trajectory. Here are some verses that I found helpful in finding this peace and rest: Matthew 11:28-30 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Lastly some practical tips I found helpful:
Talking to friends and accountability partners about temptations and insecurities that you have.
Praying about your insecurities and asking God to take away the false beliefs about yourself and replace it with an identity in the Lord Jesus.
Memorising some bible verses and placing them in your heart as truths.