Summary: Signs of insecurity and the biblical solution.
We’re concluding our series on love today and several times in this series I’ve mentioned that one of the battles that we all fight as we try to become more loving people is our own insecurity.
One of the greatest challenges each of us faces in life is becoming comfortable in our own skin. In fact, insecurity is a big problem througout our culture. This may stem from childhood experiences, mobility, and even the harsh and critical spirit in our culture – just watch how people talk to one another on some of the news shows.
Facing insecurity is so important because a person who is secure with himself or herself is much more likely to achieve more loving and meaningful relationships. Feelings of insecurity make it more difficult for us to show love and to be loved. So we’ve got to come to terms with our insecurity if we want to enjoy the love God created us to enjoy. And this is a problem that men face just as much as women. We men just try to cover it up more.
A big problem right off the bat is that some of you would strongly deny that you ever feel insecure. And I understand how you feel. Back in high school I had a teacher that assigned us to read Psycho-Cybernetics. The book was published in 1960 but it really became popular in the 70’s. I remember reading the book and it said that 95% of Americans have some sense of insecurity. I felt like that was ridiculous. Over thirty years later, after knowing more about myself and others, I don’t think it’s so far-fetched.
You say, “How do I know whether or not I have any insecurity?” I’m going to give you a list of characteristics. If you exhibit these qualities then you have some insecurity.
Be honest with yourself. I’m not asking you to stand up and confess to being an “insecuraholic.” (And it’s so ironic. One of the greatest signs of insecurity is refusing to admit it.) We don’t have to be afraid or ashamed to admit it.
Ever since Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden mankind has battled insecurity. God comes looking for Adam after he and Eve had sinned and they’re hiding from God. Hiding from God for the first time ever! Why! Insecurity. Nothing had changed in the environment around Adam and Eve. Not yet. It would later. God would banish them from Paradise. But first He would have to confront them about their misbehavior. No their environment hadn’t changed yet, but a drastic change had taken place inside their psyches! They hid from God because for the very first time ever – they felt insecure. Since all of us have sinned we all share in battling the problem of insecurity just from being human.
We don’t have to hide or deny our insecurity because God has a BIG, BIG answer for our insecurity, which this message is primarily about. But first let me share some signs with you, some signs of insecurity because we sometimes fail to see ourselves until we’ve seen our reflection in the Word of God. Some of these signs are the masks we wear in an attempt to hide our insecurity.
DEFENSIVENESS – This was evident in the life of one of most insecure people in the Bible, King Saul. (There are a lot of examples of insecurity in Bible characters: Noah, Abraham, Gideon, the 10 Spies, Elijah, etc.) But King Saul is a textbook case on insecurity. He was defensive whenever approached by the prophet Samuel. Samuel would come to Saul with the word from God and Saul would put up his guard. (1 Samuel 13)
One time King Saul wouldn’t wait for Samuel to arrive at a battle scene against the Philistines, so Saul offered sacrifices as if he were a priest. 11 Samuel asked, "What have you done?" Saul answered, "I saw the soldiers leaving me, (his soldiers were afraid and insecure and so they were going AWOL – Note: we can’t afford to allow ourselves to be infected with the insecurity of others!) and you were not here when you said you would be... 12 Then I thought, ’The Philistines will come against me at Gilgal, and I haven’t asked for the Lord’s approval.’ So I forced myself to offer the whole burnt offering." 1 Sam. 13:11-12 (NCV)
Furthermore, he did not do all of what God told him to do in the battle with the Amelekites. When Samuel challenged his disobedience he was defensive. He argued that he had disobeyed God because of the people. Insecurity. He was afraid of losing the approval of the people.
And Saul was a big guy - stood head and shoulders above everyone else. (1 Sam. 9:2) Security isn’t about physical size or strength! When he found out he had been chosen as Israel’s first king (because the Israelites were insecure and wanted to be like other nations) he hid himself among the baggage. (1 Samuel 10:22)