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Insecurity

Jeremy Pierre on http://www.thegospelcoalition.org makes a great case for why insecurity can be separating us from fully experiencing our relationship with Jesus! It’s a great article; so read it and share with me what your thoughts are!

The Sin of Insecurity

by Jeremy Pierre

Barney struggles to raise his oversized purple head, weakened by the gradual loss of viewership in recent years. Once a formidable voice in children’s TV programming, he now grasps weakly at his friends, who stand quietly beside. He manages to seize a fistful of Elmo’s scruff and draws him close. “One thing you must never let a single child forget: ‘You are special.’” The falsetto-voiced monster puts a furry hand on Barney’s and turns to look at the others. All of them knew that a very important message had been entrusted to them. Of all moral lessons in children’s TV programming, this was to be foundational.

And if you notice, whenever kids shows step away from silly fun or situational problem solving and toward moral admonition, it is usually on this very topic: the importance of a positive self-image and the confidence that should result from it. And so, educational TV coaches us to think positively about everything from our hair color to our particular set of interests as the means of instilling confidence for living.

I am not advocating a low self image, of course. I am simply pointing out that insecurity seems to be the only thing appropriate for public correction. In fact, we could say that in the moral universe of children’s programming, insecurity is the chief sin. Why?

Before we attempt to answer that question, let me present another: I believe that God calls insecurity sin, too. But why?

The answer to the first why? and the second could not be more different. Our cultural instructors disapprove of our insecurity because it is an offense to individual worthiness. God disapproves of our insecurity because it is an offense to his Son’s worthiness. God’s problem with insecurity is worth pondering.

Insecurity and Confidence in the Flesh

It may be counterintuitive, but according to the Bible, insecurity is what Paul calls “confidence in the flesh.” But how does it make sense that insecurity and confidence can be related? Every coin has two sides. On the top side, confidence in the flesh is the self-assurance that comes from possessing those attributes that supposedly determine worthiness. But the bottom side of the coin is just as dangerous: the insecurity that comes from not possessing them. In both cases, we place our confidence in personal attributes we think bring life.

In the apostle Paul’s religious and cultural setting, he possessed all of the prized features that commended him to God and others. You and I have probably never met anyone who wants to be publicly known as a Pharisee or wishes he had been circumcised on the eighth day. In our culture, these are not particularly commendable things. But we all know the things that are.  And more poignantly, we all have felt the desperation of not having them.

For some of us, this is the background static of our regular thinking, and we need to realize that it’s not wrong primarily because it makes us unhappy, as our various puppet friends would emphasize. Insecurity is sinful for more serious reasons than that. Here are at least four of them:

1. Distraction with Self

Insecurity gums up our ability to do what God made us to do: love him and others.

[keep reading here]

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