Is something eating at you?
My bet is it's an insecurity. We all have them, you know.
That's right, even Angelina Jolie has insecurities. We all do. Beth Moore said "so long!" to hers here, but they still show up occasionally.
Insecurities are those nagging thoughts that eat away at our confidence, our joy and our sense of purpose.
They quiet our voices when we're supposed to raise them. They stop us in our tracks when we have somewhere to go. They tie our hands behind our backs when we need to lend them to others. They turn our eyes inward and focus on what's missing. They loudly shut out the Still Small Voice that bids us "look up."
You have insecurities. I do, too.
But do you know what your insecurities are? When you learn to call them by name, you sap some of their power right then and there. When you identify them they can't sneak up on you quite as easily.
Tell you what, I'll go first. My insecurities include loneliness, fear of failure, feeling awkwardly different, an insatiable need for affirmation, and the fear of being left behind. Yeah, I've got those...
How can you know what your insecurities are? Examine your thoughts about yourself. See if they fit these stymying credentials:
- They call you names. They label you, giving you no room for change or growth, no grace for mistakes. Perhaps they call you "a bad mom," "a nagging wife," "a fatty," "a failure," or "a dummy."
- They focus on what you can't do instead of what you can do.
- They remind you frequently of the past.
- They make you feel inadequate, less than, inferior, hopeless.
- They take God's power and grace out of your equation.
- They lie. Oh, but they're so good at telling you lies that you often don't recognize the lies. You may have become convinced that they're telling the truth.
- They trip you up frequently, causing you to stumble into sins you swore off just yesterday...and the day before...and the day before that.
- They're often the very same insecurities you can easily spot in others. And when you see someone else wearing them, you're disgusted or offended or saddened. Hmm...
Yes, we all have insecurities. But we don't have to let them rule and reign in our lives.
Today I encourage you to spend a few moments with the Lord, asking Him to lovingly and gently show you your insecurities. It'll be ok. I promise. He won't berate you over them.
Allow Jesus to graciously speak truth over them. It might sting a little at first, but my bet is that His truth will feel more like a soothing ointment on the wounds they have inflicted.
Then, now that you've identified these sneaky parasites, refuse to feed them any longer. Oh, that will be hard. You may be used to feeding them. After all, these are the unwanted guests that linger around the buffet when you have a pity party. They're the feelings that enjoy those self-indulgent little forays and encourage you to throw another one sometime soon.
But sister, that party's dead. The real party happens when you quiet those intruders and start revelling in the grace of God instead.
You have insecurities. I do, too. But we don't have to let them get the best of us. In fact, we don't have to give them an inch. And it all starts with letting those suckers know that you've got their number. And you're not feeding them anymore!
How do you live aware of your insecurities, but without allowing them to rule? How have you successfully stopped feeding those nagging thoughts?
Each Wednesday I post encouraging thoughts on Walk with Me Wednesdays. I link up my words of encouragement with other bloggers at Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart.