Insecurity is at the root of all our relational struggles. It causes leaders to manifest dysfunctional behavior and keeps families and friends in chronic strife. The problem with insecurities is they often drive us to see other people as the problem, never allowing us to look within and see the areas in our lives that need healing.
The insecure struggles that rise provide an opportunity for us to face ourselves and allow God to heal our identity. Yet I find that we wander around the mountain and ignore the signals. It often takes a great deal of pain and fallout for us to recognize what needs changing. Sadly, many do not recognize the need to address their personal insecurities, no matter how much destruction is manifesting.
An extreme identity crisis looms over our culture. Masses of people are living day to day with little idea of who they are and what they are capable of. Too many are living in accordance with a lesser identity than what God says is possible. A deep insecurity has even become a way of life, unless we learn there is more available. Yet we cannot experience the greater potential unless we are willing to address the insecure foundation we live on.
Merriam Webster defines insecure from multiple angles:
- Uncertain: not confident or sure, deficient in assurance
- Unsafe: not adequately guarded or sustained
- Shaky: not firmly fastened or fixed
- Instability: not highly stable or well-adjusted
Insecurity is a sign of emptiness. It points out that a person has not been affirmed and filled with a solid awareness of who they are. If those empty places are not fathered and nurtured, a rejection mindset forms, keeping us living in unhealthy patterns. Part of dismantling a rejection mindset is facing our insecurities and overcoming them.
We are left with two choices. When we notice our insecurities rising up, do we act on them and defend them, or use those dysfunctional moments to become aware of our need to grow? Unfortunately, we invest too much time and energy covering up and defending our insecurities. When insecurity is in place, the enemy uses that ground as a pivot point to form all kinds of false coping mechanisms.
One of the biggest areas that insecurity manifests in us is through our personality, which forms how we interact with our world. Most people see their personality as fixed, a benign and unchangeable part of their being. They can also believe that our personality is the way we will always be. We might see where we need to change our thinking or behavior, but we often view our personality as being neither being good nor evil. Too many just think it is what it is. This is acan be a limiting view of our potential and ability to change. But we must first recognize that what we call our personality can be formed on areas that are deeply insecure. In fact, our personalities can be trained in ways that are not who God says we are. If we permanently stamp ourselves with personality traits that come from insecurity, we end up capping our future ability to change.
Social settings force our insecurities to come to the surface. When we get into close proximity with others, we will either overcompensate for our insecurities or hide in them. Some people over-talk and become hyperactive. Others withdraw and give little interaction. Both extremes keep us from being safe in our own skin and interacting with our world in confidence.
Insecurity leads us into two common patterns. In the first, we can carry an inward hostility, where our unhealed heart manifests anger. It’s a violent combustion that can be subtle or overt. Anytime an insecurity is touched, anger jumps forward to defend and protect a felt deficiency. Men often do this, simply because we do not like to be seen as weak or incapable. We may additionally use anger to control and dominate situations, making other people the problem so we do not have to deal with what is going on inside ourselves.
We can also give into the socially acceptable forms of hostility within ourselves by becoming performance-driven. In this, we overcompensate for our insecurities by chasing achievement, to earn approval and validation from others. We strive to make others happy and fill our days with constant busyness.
The second extreme that we can sway towards is in the opposite direction. Insecurity causes many to withdraw and become very passive in their approach to life. They let life happen to them and allow other people to make the decisions. A passive husband, for example, allows his wife to carry the load of daily decisions, making her the initiator and leader in the household.
The curse of passivity, affecting the lives of many fathers, comes from a rejection mindset. It keeps them locked into a spiritual slumber that prevents them from awakening and confronting their insecurities and taking hold of that which God desires for them.
Passivity will keep a person from being moved to action. It takes a great deal of spark to motivate a person to leave the comfortable false haven of passivity.
Moving Towards Stability
Sometimes we can bounce back and forth between these two extremes because we have not been centered in who we are. We end up becoming stressed out on one end; running, running, hurry, hurry, going, going, and going! Burnt out, stressed out, and often with nothing left to give.
After time, we crash, exhausted saying, “Forget it!” We stray over to the other extreme into passivity, forfeiting any semblance of initiative, saying, “No one really cares anyway!”
This is what a rejection mindset does. It simply swings us back and forth because we are not rooted and established in the love of God and who He says that we are. This is the life of insecurity that keeps us from a stable daily pattern of living.
Our journey of healing is to learn deep in our hearts that “I am a son of God, I am His child, He loves me, I am His, out of my identity, He has given me anointing. He has given me purpose. He has given me a life to live. He’s given me people to reach out to!”
If I am not secure in that, I can guarantee one of two things will happen. I will either live in a way of passivity that keeps me backing off and satisfied with inactivity, or I will try to constantly earn my identity and try to prove myself to people around me.
Question: Where do you find insecurity pushing you in relationships?