“Our bedroom could really use some cleaning up.”
These innocent words, uttered in passing by my husband, somehow opened a floodgate of tears. The tears streamed from my eyes without any warning, almost like a reflex. Shocked and confused, my husband wrapped me in a hug.
His observation was not shaded in blame. It was not accusatory in tone. But I took his comment as an assault on my ability to be a “good” wife.
I aspire to be a loving mom, a godly wife, a dedicated church member, a faithful friend, a full-time employee, and have a neat home all at the same time. Yet, while I cling to these aspirations, I am utterly aware of my inability to be all of these things at once. Even so, when I fail in one of these categories, I feel as if I am the failure. Why? Because my inability to juggle all of my roles well has become an insecurity.
What is your insecurity? If I were to hold a mirror up to you right now, your insecurity would be the immediate “wrong” that you see in your reflection. This insecurity is what you wish you could modify or “fix.” For some, it is a physical feature; for others, it is a personality trait; and still for others, it is a hidden flaw that you hope no one ever discovers. Insecurities are like bruises upon our soul, painful to the touch.
But our insecurities do not have to rule over us. Salvation in Jesus gives us a new identity, a beautiful identity, based not upon our weaknesses or our failures but upon Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Christ’s triumph is our triumph.
Ephesians 1 talks about how Christ’s victory over sin impacts our identity. In Christ, we are holy and blameless before God; we are adopted as a child of God; we are redeemed and forgiven. Not by our strivings, but by Christ’s perfection. Our value does not come from a lack of wrinkles or blemishes, our value is secured by Christ.
As we wrestle with our insecurities and strive to cling to our identity in Christ, here are some truths to remember:
Truth #1: The gospel frees us to be weak.
No longer do we define ourselves by what others think of us. No longer do we define ourselves by our marriage status, our job, or what we do or do not have. Our identity becomes child of God, servant of Jesus Christ. Therefore, our insecurities lose power over us, for Christ’s power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul takes this even further; he boasts in his weakness! Can you imagine going up to your neighbor and gladly pointing out your most covered-up flaw? Boasting in your weakness may seem foreign, but Paul’s point is that our weaknesses and insecurities remind us that we are imperfect beings in need of a perfect God. We no longer need to hide our weaknesses from others. We can be our authentic selves, for our authentic selves are known and loved by Jesus.
Truth #2: The gospel frames what matters.
The gospel does not only free us to be weak, the gospel frames what matters. Finances will ebb and flow. Laugh lines will begin to frame your smile. You may always be prone to messiness. Your body will certainly change over time. All signs that this world is temporary and fading away. But these things, these insecurities we fret over, begin to seem trivial in light of the gospel. We were once lost, but now we are found! We were once dead in our sin, and now we are alive in Christ (Colossians 2:13). Once we were not a people, now we are God’s people (1 Peter 2:10). How fickle are our insecurities in light of these truths? When we ponder the magnitude of Jesus and what He has done for us, all else fades into the background.
Truth #3: The gospel gives us hope.
Though we know the gospel to be true, that does not mean that our insecurities will suddenly disappear. We may still feel the sting of exposure as our insecurities become visible to others, but that sting will not knock us down. Though we will experience bumps and bruises, cuts and stings during our time on earth, we have an inheritance to look forward to in heaven (1 Peter 1:4–7). We eagerly await our Savior who will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:20–21). Though we do not know exactly what these new bodies will be like, we can rest assured knowing that we will be so consumed by the glory of Christ that we will not care about the shape of our nose or the sound of our laugh. We will bask in the fullness of Jesus’s presence—satisfied, shameless, and secure.
Whatever your insecurity is, whatever you try to cover and hide, you can find a soft place to land in the person and work of Jesus. Reflecting upon that day, when my insecurity took over my body, I remember vividly that my tears stopped in my husband’s embrace. As simple as it was, that hug reminded me that I am loved despite my weakness. So you, too, can draw near to Christ. He knows you, every detail of you. And He died for you while you were still a sinner. The weak and weary find rest in Him. The wandering soul finds home in Him. The insecure find security in Him. Jesus is our comfort.
Additional resources on insecurity