Do you ever feel like everyone out there is smarter than you? Or more successful? Or more popular? It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. Listen to how this blogger put it:
Online has started to feel like real life – parties and in crowds that I can’t figure out how to get into, cool people who don’t know I’m alive, saying things that bring conversations to a screeching halt … I have found myself struggling not to feel … as though I’m only as good as the number of people that read my blog.”
Can you relate to this blogger? Most of us can – if not in blogging, then in some other area of our lives.
I don’t know if James struggled with insecurity, but he does tell us how to overcome it in James 1:9-10. Listen to what he says:
But the brother of humbler circumstances is to glory in his high position, and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like the flowering grass he will pass away.
The bottom dog in this Bible verse is the brother of humbler circumstances. That would be the beginning blogger in the blogging world. The unpopular kid in the high school world. The missionary with one convert in the ministry world.
James gives them some good advice: Listen up, bottom dogs. Don’t think of yourselves as failures. It doesn’t matter how you look in the world’s eyes because that’s not who you are. This is who you are: a child of the King. That’s a high position. Glory in it!!!
The top dog in this Bible verse is the rich guy. That would be the guy with a million followers in the blogging world. The popular kid in the high school world. The guy with the mega church in the ministry world.
Here’s what James says to those guys, Listen up, top dogs. You’re not winners because of your accomplishments. Those are all going to fade. You’re winners because of who you are in Christ. Glory in that!!!!
If we were to draw a diagram of the Bible passage, it would look like this:
How to Overcome Insecurity
You might think the solution to insecurity is to become a top dog. But it’s not.
The secret to overcoming insecurity is to forget who you are in the world’s eyes and think about who you are in God’s eyes. Because that’s who you really are.
If you’re feeling insecure today, try this. Grab your favorite blanket, a pillow, and a copy of the insecurity Bible verses I posted a few days ago. Then lie down on the couch and start praying through those verses.
As you pray through them, picture God doing the things the verses talk about:
Shielding you when someone has said something mean to you. Reaching down to grab hold of your hand when you’ve done something dumb. Looking at you with the accepting eyes of a loving father when you feel like you don’t measure up.
As you picture God in these roles, my prayer is that you’ll feel the same way I do when I meditate on these verses—treasured, cherished, and accepted by my Father who knows my every sin, yet still delights in me.
Question: Do you think it’s important to overcome insecurity if you’re a Christian? How about if you’re in ministry? Why or why not? How does insecurity affect your life and ministry?
Note: If you’re looking for the insecurity Bible verses on my iPhone app, they’re in a separate category. Just click on insecurity and you’ll see them right after the social situations questions.
Kari Scare says
I really like how you are approaching this journey through insecurity. I can relate to the process for sure. I used to be an extremely insecure person, and when I am tired, hungry, stressed, etc. that still comes out in me in ways I am embarrassed to even talk about. To answer your question, I think it’s important to overcome insecurity both as a Christian and if you’re in ministry (really, all Christians should be in ministry) because our security doesn’t like within ourselves. So, we overcome security when we truly get that our confidence and security lie only with Christ. The more I get the focus off myself and my feelings and more on Him and His unbending truths, the more secure and confident I become. The journey is tough but SO worth it!
I agree, Kari. The funny thing is that I actually see myself as a secure person. I am in most areas of my life – but definitely not blogging. I’m finding you can work through something in one area of your life but have to work through it again in another area. I agree that the journey is tough but worth it. Just the fellowship with God alone is worth it – not to mention the peace and joy that comes with it.
Kari Scare says
You are so right about how we can have victory in one area of our lives and have to address the same sort of struggle again in another area. Hopefully, addressing it already in one area makes us better able to address it in others though. I am also learning more and more the value of learning from others, something I have not always been great at. As I am studying Christian Community, I am discovering this value and how it can truly help us achieve more victory over more struggles in our lives.
That sounds good, Kari. I think the church could really use some growth in the area of helping each other grow. Discussing issues with others helps clarify my own thinking and teach me things I wouldn’t discover on my own. Usually, I do that in local classes and then write about it afterwards on my blog. So this blogging/ministry series is a new experience for me. I’m learning as I post and hear from others on the subject.
Kari Scare says
I see so many people who do the opposite and pull away instead of staying attached to the body. You are setting a great example!
If only I would always set a good example!
The scriptures you posted last week were great!
It’s true, we need to stop looking at ourselves through the worlds eyes and begin see who we are in Christ. That is liberating!
I do so many dumb things that I could beat myself up over…and I do a pretty good job of beating myself up. But as I draw closer to God the easier it is to laugh, learn and move on!
Love your drawing- that’s my kind of art!
Haha, TC – it took me awhile to figure out how to even make a drawing that “great”! It’s much easier to use a whiteboard! (Although even on whiteboards, my people still look like stick figures!)
I’ve been thinking about your post today and it reminds me of times in my life I’ve met people who I really admired and thought of as “super Christians”. But like a new toy, the shiny wears off and I can see the real person- if I spend enough time with them.
Which is great. They are human just like me, they make mistakes and they don’t have it as together as I first thought.
I recently encountered this in my life. Someone I’ve known for years fell down a peg or two in my mind. Not that they did anything bad, just that my blinders fell off and I realized they weren’t as Spiritual or knowledgeable as I’d given them credit. It was a healthy realization for me. I hadn’t spent a life time getting to know them I wouldn’t have known that. If I’d only met them once or twice I might have walked away from them feeling as if I could never aspire to be the type of Christians they are.
I think we can all fall into this trap.
We only see bloggers for a limited time.
Does that make sense?
I think so – are you saying sometimes we see people as top dogs and we might not think of them as top dogs if we knew them better? I guess that makes me think of this: not only do I see myself as bottom dog when God doesn’t want me to see myself that way, but I’m also using standards He doesn’t approve of! Because the thing I compare isn’t character or walk with God – I realize you can’t always tell that even if you know someone – but writing ability. Probably not God’s essential ingredient to be a disciple or teacher, but definitely a nice skill to have.
Plus I’m beginning to see that life would be much easier if I didn’t expect people to condemn me! (I can’t remember but that might be the journal entry I’m posting on Wednesday – I already have it ready. Hopefully I can keep myself from changing it!)
Exactly. Some people put on a good “show” (or they are genuine) of being a top dog but we can overlook or can be blinded to their weaknesses.
In the Body of Christ we don’t like to acknowledge weaknesses, temptations, sin. We like to gloss over it. But if we would get more real with each other, maybe we would begin to see some real growth (in our selves and in our church numbers). I also think it would help us not be so hard on ourselves.
There are times I see myself as a bottom dog. Just today I met with a group at church and they asked me to help with a really large project. I said yes, but inside I kept hearing satan whisper how inadequately equip I am for this role. Which completely disregards what the preacher said in the beginning, “Don’t ever think you have a small organization. Even if it’s just you and the Holy Spirit, that’s a big team! That’s an organization that can do alot for the Kingdom”
I guess that’s what I would tell you today. Your blog or numbers may seem small, you may see yourself as a bottom dog, but God sees it differently and with Him as your team
captain you are doing more than you realize. I’m telling myself this same message today (and everyday).
Also, I think there’s a trap of “false humility” some people fall in by saying they are a bottom dog- but I don’t think that’s you. Just came to mind that some people do fall into that trap.
As for standards. I think we all fall victim to doing this, just most don’t realize it. God is working mightily in you and through you. Keep up the good work, keep sharing your journey, it’s helping so many. I know it’s helping me. I thank you! God bless.
Wow, TC, I absolutely love this: “Don’t ever think you have a small organization. Even if it’s just you and the Holy Spirit, that’s a big team! That’s an organization that can do alot for the Kingdom” What a great and revolutionary way to look at it. I’m acting as if everything depends on me. Ridiculous – and exciting – since it doesn’t. I think I’ll have to write that out and put it over my desk. As always, thank you for your encouragement.
Kari Scare says
You know, I have actually experienced what you describle with other bloggers. Over time, I can see some of their shortcomings (as others can see mine), and I realize they struggle too. Your point makes sense in a lot of areas to me.
Ngina Otiende says
I love your drawing! Just brought everything home. I’ve had a hectic schedule this past week and just got a breather today. There’s a lot of catching up to do and am reminding myself that i can only do so much. some things won’t get done and that’s okay. I may ‘loose’ some and that’s okay too. God knows about it and will figure out another way to make life work. Thank you for this reminder. I really really needed it. I will meditate on the verses in my QT today.
I’m glad you liked my drawing, Ngina. As to reminding yourself that you can only do so much, that’s what I had to remind myself with the drawing. :) Neither art nor technology are my forte so drawings by necessity have to be basic. But I am glad I at least figured out a way to put diagrams on the blog!
Ngina Otiende says
Simple art sometimes has the greatest impact, least frills = most impact :). At least for me it does. You are way ahead, i have no idea how to put up diagrams on posts! if I ever need to do so, now i know where to run for help ;)
Haha, that would be an exciting day that I could be the one to give someone techy help! But you’re right – I can with these little diagrams! Let me know if you get the urge to draw and post one. :)
Ngina Otiende says
Deb Wolf says
I think as Christians we sometimes confuse insecurity and humility. Insecurity comes from within and is fueled by envy and want. Humility comes from relationship and who we are in Christ. I keep the phrase “it’s not about me,” constantly running through my head. It helps, except when as Kari said, “I am tired, hungry, or stressed.” After those ugly moments my prayer is always that the Lord’s love and forgiveness will point me right back to humility and hopefully helps me stop comparing myself to other people . . . at least for a moment.
Wow, good point, Deb. Insecurity is fueled by envy and want – so true. That’s the problem with seeing ourselves as bottom dogs. It makes us envy the top dogs and want that for ourselves. But if we see ourselves as in Christ, it’s much easier to forget about ourselves (because we’re already filled up) and focus on loving others.
Kari Scare says
Satan definitely is the author of confusion, and he wants us to feel insecure, envious, wanting, etc. If we are focusing on those feelings, even if we are focusing on how badly we feel about them, guess where we’re not focusing? As we focus more on Christ and less on ourselves, it’s amazing how this confusion clears itself up, doesn’t it? Doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with “stuff” in our lives, but a focus on Him sure makes the dealing with happen.
Deb Wolf says
You are absolutely right Kari, We still have “stuff” to handle . . .
I used to be a fixer. Especially when it came to emotions. I’m sure I made more messes than I ever helped. As my trust for Christ has grown, I am more able to let the Holy Spirit do His work. He does a vastly better job than I do anyway. :-)
I no longer want to be “top dog” nor do I worry about being “bottom dog” . . . I just want to be in Christ! One day at a time.
Kari Scare says
That He does. Emotions can be so dangerous. He is teaching me to make right decisions based on His Truth rather than on my emotions. Much better way to live. And you’re right… focusing on being with Christ makes us not worry about our position in the world.
Loren Pinilis says
I know insecurity is something I struggle with. I find a lot of times it’s not just damaging to our own self-image and peace but it can affect our actions. Think of Gideon – an insecure man who eventually summoned up the nerve to trust God and follow God.
That’s interesting, Loren. I can’t remember much about Gideon. I’ll have to check it out – thanks for the heads up. I’m guessing there are very few people if any who haven’t struggled with insecurity at one point or another. I’m learning it can be a real growing experience.