The definition for insecurity I want to use from Google is, “uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.” Insecurities have become a friend of mine in my twenty-six years of life. By friend, I mean I know my own insecurities all too well. A month ago, as Chris and I sat down in Qdoba (don’t judge our healthy lifestyle) he asked me, “Lauren, what are your ministry goals for 2018?” Every year Chris and I discuss our goals for the current year that is about to expire, and set a vision for what we want the upcoming year to look like individually, and as a couple. I asked myself, “What do I want my ministry goals to be?” Chris’s question caught me off guard because he had never asked this specific question before. My first thought was to offer to help in the youth ministry at church…but I wanted to take it even further. Self-rejection quickly followed my big hopes and dreams to further God’s kingdom. Lies. I heard in my mind, “You’re not good enough” and “They’ll never accept you after knowing what you’ve done in the past.” What Chris hoped to be an inspiring conversation soon had me teary-eyed as I managed to choke down some of my chicken quesadilla. My own insecurities compiled with lies from the enemy flooded my mind. In that moment, I made the bigger picture all about me. Yes, these are my goals, but ultimately goals that serve the Lord’s kingdom. My credibility is what I thought mattered.
People won’t accept me if they knew I did ___________________.
Women won’t want me mentoring their daughter if they knew _______________ about me.
My followers will stop reading my blog if I revealed _______________.
People won’t think you truly love the Lord if they knew you __________________.
Do ya’ll see how dark and misleading these thoughts are? Fill in the blank with your own sentence stems that apply to your heart’s desires. Thankfully, Chris reeled me in to kindly remind me that it isn’t my credibility that matters, but Jesus Christ’s. I will falter with my words and mess up many times, but it’s Him who receives the glory for who He is and what He has done. Remember that friend. You and I both have it in us to be secure in who we are in Christ, regardless of our past and current struggles. I quickly realized that I needed to let my past sins be my past sins, and focus on God rather than myself.
Walking in the Light
Yes, I confess, my past sins have come back to haunt me and affect my current relationships because I never truly let them go. Believe it or not, I often went back to past sins, and contemplated committing those same exact actions once again. Even as a believer, I would re-engage in a snarling trap to fulfill the emptiness that my insecurities would bring. Hate for my sins is what I learned needed to happen in order for me to no longer look back and long to return to old habits that were unpleasing to the Lord. I read Beth Moore’s, “So Long, Insecurity” when I was in college and have recently been rereading through. Her first chapter title is Mad Enough to Change. Don’t worry, I will not write out the entire book right here, but I do highly recommend this book to all my girls, young or old. Mad enough to Change…before I read a word I paused to think, “Do the enemy’s lies and my own insecurities make me mad enough to do something about it?” Absolutely. My insecurities are what have lead me down a path of darkness numerous times, which the Bible states over and over that we are called to walk in the light.
1 John 1:5-10 “Walking in the Light”
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My three takeaways from this passage of scripture are:
1. When we walk in darkness there is no truth, or true freedom in Christ.
2. We can’t have true fellowship with God while walking in darkness, because when we walk in the dark we do not live by the truth.
3. It is impossible to walk with God while we walk in darkness. While living in the light, we can have fellowship with one another and Jesus Christ
Kelly Minter phrases it perfectly in her book What Love Is, “John’s reasoning is a little more straightforward: If God is light and there is no darkness in light, you can’t say you have fellowship with God while living in darkness. It’s a pretty simple formula.” Anyone else wish it was as simple to follow as it is to read? Darkness at times has been something I’ve tried to make work for me. Think of a time when your insecurities or a situation occurred that lead you to live in the darkness. For me, it was a past relationship that I tried to hide from friends walking in the light and my mentor at the time. The relationship wasn’t one that was glorifying to the Lord. After calling it quits, my insecurities kept calling out for affirmation from this guy, but I didn’t want anyone to really know about it. I would make up a different name in my phone for this person to hide the fact that I had been talking to him on and off for months. Crazy, right? Maybe you’re laughing to yourself because you’ve done something similar. It sounds silly. Looking back now, I laugh at how ridiculous it was for me to live in darkness for months—there was nothing beneficial that came from not living in the light. Only hurt, confusion, and messiness. Secret sins that I committed out of my own insecurities had kept me chained from experiencing true freedom in Christ for too long. Praise God for conviction—experiencing deep remorse and sadness over my behavior has kept me from continually walking, living in, and even enjoying, the darkness.
Does this mean that my insecurities will never cause me to walk in the darkness again? Lord help me, walking in darkness is officially a time of the past. Temptations and struggles will continue to arise and manifest in new ways. No longer will there be shame or disgrace that haunts me—for through conviction and deep sadness over my sin, the light has won. Thankfully, when we walk in the light, we have fellowship with other believers, and the blood of Jesus Christ. Whatever it may be—lies from the enemies, your deepest insecurities, or past hurt that has caused you to turn away from the light…share it with those who are walking in the light. On the opposite end, if you know someone who claims Christ but has been living in opposition to God’s Word, consider praying about gently and lovingly talking to him/her (Galations 6:1). You are deeply loved and cared for by Someone who is eager for you to know and experience true freedom in Him.