When we base our identity on things that can change, like our appearance, our abilities, or the attention we receive, we will tend to be insecure.
How often are you consumed with what others think of you? Do you base your identity around what you look like, what you do, and what attention you get, or around what God thinks of you and who he has chosen you to be?
Appearance: How Do I Look to Others?
Jesus said to them, “You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. What people think is important is worth nothing to God.
Luke 16:15 (ERV)
When our ambition and goal is to look good in front of people, we will not have room to care about God or others.
What kinds of things do you do to look good in front of people?
Whose opinions matter most to you? How has this affected your relationship with God and friends?
The same happens to all who forget God. The hopes of the godless evaporate. Their confidence hangs by a thread. They are leaning on a spider’s web.
Job 8:13-14 (NLT)
When we are constantly trying to get people to like us, we lose the very confidence and happiness we are trying so desperately to get.
The Bible equates our reliance on outward appearance and people’s approval to leaning on a spider’s web. This leads to massive insecurity because we will not always look good and people will not always like us.
How do you think your reliance on what people think affects your confidence?
Attention: How Do I Use Others?
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.”
Matthew 6:1-2 NLT
When our goal is to get attention, we live in a constant state of insecurity because our relationships remain shallow – no one knows the real you.
When we are religious, we use “good deeds” to get attention and look good. We use people to give us the attention we want instead of genuinely caring about them.
How do you try to get attention? What relationships have stayed shallow because of this?
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:30-34 (MSG)
God is the one who gives us the attention we need. He knows who we truly are, and wants to meet our needs if only we let him.
When we don’t have this kind of relationship with God where he meets our needs, we fuss over all the little things of life that we have no control over—how we look, who is paying attention to us, how we compare to others.
What needs are you trying to meet by getting attention? How can God meet those needs today?
Ability: How Can I Prove Myself?
“The Lord says, “Those who trust in man are under my curse. They depend on human strength. Their hearts turn away from me. They will be like a bush in a dry and empty land. They will not enjoy success when it comes. They will live in dry places in the desert. It is a land of salt where no one else lives.”
Jeremiah 17:5-6 NIRV
When we rely on our own strength and talent, the Bible calls us cursed. This doesn’t mean God sends down curses on us, but rather that an identity based solely on our own ability and success is a lonely and cursed one.
This verse also says that when we are self-reliant we can’t enjoy successes we work so hard to get.
How have you been relying on your own abilities and talents? How has this affected your relationships?
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”
1 John 2:15-17 MSG
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Mark 8:36-37 NLT
When all we want is to be successful we will end up insecure. Successes don’t last forever, and we may not always have the abilities we draw so much strength from.
Even if we do get everything we want and reach every achievement we’ve been striving for, where does this leave us if we lose our very soul, the very essence of who we are, in the process?
How has your reliance on your own abilities made you insecure? How have you seen this isolate you from your relationship with God and others?
“In heaven, God, I have only you. And if I am with you, what on earth could I want? Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. He is mine forever!
As for me, all I need is to be close to God. I have made the Lord GOD my place of safety. And, God, I will tell about all that you have done.”
Psalms 73:25-26, 28 ERV
We can be truly secure when we decide God’s opinion of us is the only one that matters.
When you are truly secure, you can have success or no success, everyone liking you or everyone hating you, and your security would remain intact because it’s not dependent on those things.
Do you have this kind of relationship with God? What do you need to change to feel this with him?
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
Matthew 6:6 MSG
The way to get the kind of relationship with God that brings security is through being our true selves with him in prayer.
We must take away all the pretending, all the defenses, all the pride in our achievements, and just be simply and honestly ourselves with God. Only then are we able to see his grace and that he will always take care of us. Only then will we feel true security.
Are you simply and honestly yourself with God? What do you need to be honest about with God and people today so you can feel truly secure?