This week in my Living on the Rock Bible study, we studied about who we are in Christ, seeking to finish the sentence, “Since God is my source of security, I AM…”
Deuteronomy 33:12 About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
I LOVE the picture in this verse: Of the one who is LOVED by the Lord, living in safety, shielded by the Lord, resting between His shoulders.
But all too often, my life is not reflective of this picture of security – I don’t live this TRUTH. Too often my experience is insecurity, not security. This should not be – for me or for you, for any child of the King.
A few years ago, the Lord had me on a journey finally really doing battle for SECURITY. It lasted months, and in many ways I am still learning.
As I spent so much time thinking about our battle with insecurity as women, I kept returning to the image of MIRRORS. A good mirror is going to tell us (accurately) what we look like. It’s good because it tells the TRUTH. But an old mirror, a broken or damaged mirror gives us a skewed view of ourselves.
That is such a perfect picture of the things we look to for SECURITY. We all want security, value, worth, acceptance. And from childhood we learn to find security in lots of ways. We look to the world, to other people, to our own success or abilities to REFLECT security, value, worth back to us.
If I’m looking to something for my security (my value, my worth, my identity), I’d better make sure it’s something that’s going to accurately reflect where my security comes from.
All too often, the things I’m looking to are LIES… I am looking in a broken mirror.
The battle for security has to begin by looking at our broken mirrors. If I don’t know the lie I’m functioning out of, I can’t replace it with the truth. We have to ask: Where are we looking to find our security, and is it going to give us an accurate reflection?
Sometimes we look for security in areas we can’t control and aren’t naturally strong in – that becomes an area of insecurity (appearance, boys’ response to me). That is a problem. But I find it relatively easy to identify those areas.
Heaven help us if we look for security in areas where we are naturally strong, where we have the illusion of control. Because even when we GET a sense of security or acceptance from something, it’s still lying to us. It is false security. And those lies are a lot harder to recognize!
And If we’re going to OVERCOME insecurity, the first thing we need to do is recognize the places where we’re insecure. I’m guessing a lot of you are like me – I don’t know I’m in danger, until I’m IN THE PIT. Once my insecurities have been triggered, it’s awfully hard to talk myself back into security.
One of the reasons INSECURITY is such a trap is that we don’t even realize that we’re looking at a broken mirror. We learn early on to find our security/identity/worth in other things – and then rather than REPLACING our broken mirrors with Jesus (who He is and what He says about us), we try to just stamp Him on top of them (write?). Then we don’t know why we keep ending up in these pits.
I’ve been trying to know myself and see where my danger areas lie – what are the things I look to for security? If I can figure that out before the Lord and let Him heal me and replace those broken mirrors (LIES) with Himself (TRUTH), then I can avoid falling into the pit of insecurity in the first place.
Our focus on externals is a big trap.
HOW HAS FOCUS ON EXTERNAL THINGS CREATED AREAS OF INSECURITY FOR YOU?
I think you can begin to see some of these things by thinking about what you were complimented about or criticized for when you were a child.
If you were criticized for something as a child, it makes sense that you’d grow up with that as an area of insecurity – something that makes you feel bad about yourself.
What were those areas for you? For me, this was my appearance (no one in my immediate family ever said this, but I grew up feeling like my sister was “the pretty one” and I was “the smart one.” Unfair to both of us.) Also, my weight – looking back, I was not overweight, but I was the biggest member of my family, built curvier and sturdier than my mom, stepmom or sisters. Add to that the fact that my mom, stepmom, and sisters were all chronic dieters and it was a recipe for insecurity.
It may sound strange to you that you could develop insecurity about something you’re complimented for. But there is actually documented research about this, surrounding what happens when children are complimented as being “smart.”
I’ve seen it happen with “pretty” too. You like that people like you, attention – but you can’t control how others think of you. And soon you figure out that the world is full of people who are prettier than you are – fake images, magazines, on TV – and you learn that sexy is what’s important, which is objectification. This is a vicious cycle, and creates a brittleness, a place of insecurity.
What are the areas you were complimented on as a child, areas where you learned to find security? For me, this was being obedient, a good girl. Being a good student, an achiever, a pleaser – I did what was expected of me, and to this day the feeling of being “unapproved” by authority figures is a giant insecurity trigger.
My next question is: WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR?
Where am I looking for security? In my own life, I see this where a WANT becomes a NEED. Where a DESIRE becomes a DRIVE. For example, I desire good, faithful friends, companionship. But if I NEED you to be my friend, if I need you to like me and always treat me well, then I’m creating a pit of insecurity for myself.
Some other areas where DESIRE becomes DRIVE:
- I want to feel cute, pretty, good about myself. Or am I DRIVEN to find confirmation of this – either from compliments… dressing in order to get a certain reaction/response from men… obsessing about my appearance, my weight, being completely put together?
- As a single woman, I desired companionship, the fun of dating/relationships. Or do I NEED to have a boyfriend? Am I willing to do anything to be in a relationship?
- As a married woman, I desire Matt’s attention, pursuit, tenderness. And I expect him to treat me well. But do I NEED him to do and say certain things to prove to me that he loves me, that he’s attracted to me? Is he my source of security and acceptance?
- I like structure/routine, I like to have a plan and goals. Or am I DRIVEN by the need to have a plan, fearful of unknowns, refusing to take any risks or walk by faith?
- I want to succeed/do my best. Or do I HAVE to succeed? Do I have to be THE best? Am I crippled by the fear of failure because I HAVE to succeed?
These broken mirrors we look to – they are broken because they CAN NOT give us security. My safety, value, worth, identity will NEVER be found in any of these things… Not in appearance…a plan…a certain weight…being approved or liked by others….any relationship.
There’s only ONE secure place, only ONE place I can dwell securely. In the Lord Himself, and what He says about me. That is my BIRTHRIGHT as a child of God. Security is my BIRTHRIGHT as a child of God!
It’s our birthright. The only way anything takes our security away is when we GIVE it. And I want us to stop giving our security away.
- Maybe I weigh more than I want to, but I will not give away my security or allow my weight to determine how I feel about myself. I AM SECURE NO MATTER WHAT I LOOK LIKE.
- Maybe my heart has been broken in a relationship. You may reject me, but I will not allow that to tell me that I am a reject – even if you don’t want me, I am WANTED. I AM SECURE WHETHER I AM IN A RELATIONSHIP OR NOT.
- I may fail. But I will not allow that to make me a FAILURE. I heard a great quote recently: Everyone experiences defeat. But defeat is always a temporary condition. What makes it permanent is GIVING UP. I want us to refuse to give up our security. MY SECURITY DOES NOT LIE IN MY SUCCESS OR FAILURE, IT IS NOT BASED ON MY PERFORMANCE.
In order to do this we need to stop using the people and things around us as mirrors. There is only ONE PLACE to look for security: IN GOD ALONE. He is security.
Psalm 59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; Set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me.
Only God Himself can deliver us from our enemy – insecurity. Let’s ask Him to set us securely on high!