"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, May 10, 2013

* SECURITY ALERT

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."



Growing up below the poverty line fed feelings of inadequacy in my life early on.  Our family struggled to buy toilet paper, let alone new clothes.  Classmates teased me when I wore hand-me-downs.  I remember feeling embarrassed to wear my knock-off Keds and stone washed jeans, hoping no one would notice they weren't the real deal.

I learned I was not as good as everyone else, particularly girls.  You know, I didn't fit the mold for the popular "in crowd."  My family didn't live in the right house or drive the right cars or have the right jobs.  These experiences and their judgment made me feel less than as a young girl.

These feelings followed into my young adult life, marriage, mothering and even still, periodic moments of other insecurities can try to deter me.  Sometimes it can start as innocently as a conversation I hash out in my mind.  Then, I may wonder what others think of me (too much).  Or, maybe I contrast my life with another lady, wishing mine was different.  Wow, she has it all together. My clothes are frumpy compared to hers.  I'm not as attractive as her.  Does she ever fail?  I wonder what life would be like to be her?  Her writing is perfect.  Entertaining these thoughts only feeds the vicious insecurity vacuum.  

Been there?  I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and would like to return a few and get my money back.  Insecurity is a lonely and destructive place to live.  It can poke its piercing thorn in our lives when we compare ourselves to others, value the wrong things, measure ourselves by the wrong standards, and forget that Christ establishes our value in the first place.  Recognizing this will help us overcome when unrelenting insecurities try to bulldoze through our front door.  

Insecurity follows a progression.  What we value is what we will pursue.  What we pursue is what we think will make us secure.  If we value beauty, education, corporate success, thinness, fashion etc. then we will chase after them.  And, most likely we will compare our lives to those who have the things we value, whatever they are.  As I shared last week, for many years I valued my body more than my Beloved.  I placed security in the wrong things.  All the while I looked at skinny girls wishing I was them.

Comparing ourselves to others can even happen innocently.  Hearing a friend talk about her success with potty training may make us question if we are doing the right thing.  Watching other friends shop till they drop may cause us to wish our aging wardrobe would magically be replaced.  Sometimes our comparisons are based on the external.  It would sure be nice to have a body like her.  If only my hair was that pretty.  I wish I had half of her creative talent.  I wish my kids were well behaved like hers so I looked like Mother-of-the-Year.

The problem with comparing ourselves with others is that they are the wrong standard.  Our measuring stick is Christ.  The comparison trap will always leave us ensnared from embracing our true worth.  When we care more how God views us, then we will look to Him to give us our security and the temptation to play the comparison game will diminish.  He is the ultimate Value Giver because He made us and bought us with His blood.  By dying for our sin He bridged the gap for us to experience a relationship with Him that gives us more stability than any fleeting object or person.

We are His workmanship or handiwork.  This is what makes us special.  Ephesians 2:10 declares, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  We were all designed with a purpose in mind.  We shouldn't be the same.  It is our uniqueness in Christ that sets us apart and gives us a sense of identity.  This type of identity rooted in Christ brings about security.  When we know whose we are, along with who we are, it doesn't matter what the world says, it only matters what God thinks.  

We live in a harsh world that makes distinctions based on wrong ideals and misplaced values. The enemy would like nothing more than for Christians to live insecure lives, forgetting who they are in Christ. Believing our security and value is in Him is entirely different than living in this truth.

When we accept and live in this truth: 
  • We won't strive for man's approval.  
  • The opinions of others depreciate.  
  • The compulsion to live up to the world's standards of beauty, success etc. lessens. 
  • Our values start to match God's.  
Regardless of the cards we were dealt in childhood or adulthood, we can move past insecurity when we live securely in the grip of Christ.   


Heart Work:
Ask the Lord to help you overcome any areas of insecurity in your life.  Consistently pray that He will replace your insecurity with security in Him. 

When tempted to compare yourself to others, measure yourself by the wrong standard, or value the wrong things, seek the Lord's help in living beyond these wrong ideals.

Heart Exam:
When does insecurity rear its ugly head in your life?  Who do you compare yourself to?  What standard do you use to measure yourself?  How do you value the wrong things?

How can your life reveal that your security and significance is truly found in Jesus Christ?  How will your actions and perceptions of others change as a result of this truth?

Heart Transforming Word:
Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV 1984) "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

John 1:12  "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Galatians 1:10  "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Galatians 6:3-4  "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else."


Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.