Do you ever think about all of the things that you’re not? Have those thoughts ever held you back from friends, family, church, careers or dreams? Do you ever get the feeling that some of the people in your life think less of you because of where you fall short? I know I do.
In all honesty, this is one of my biggest personal struggles. Insecurity has been a companion of mine my entire life. Focused on the things that I am not, I know I have missed out on fully enjoying some of life’s greatest moments and greatest people.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. A few years ago I decided to really make an effort to develop relationships with others, despite my sometimes crippling social anxiety, and in doing so I made an incredible discovery: Many people struggle with the same insecurities that I do! In fact, it’s rampant.
Here’s the short-answer solution. The more time I spend with Jesus, and the more I read His word, the more He reveals to me how He sees me, making me a little more confident in the skin I’m in. It isn’t until we begin to understand the truth about who we are in Christ and why, that the what-we’re-nots seem to carry less weight. Let me give you just a few examples from my list:
I’m not exactly normal
I’m extra-strength quirky around with a dysfunctional filter. I don’t always say the right thing (or the appropriate thing) and kick myself a lot. I once sat at a table with a group of people I greatly admired and listened with a broken heart as they laughed about a person we all knew for being weird, and all I could think was, I’m weird, this must be what people say about me when I’m not around.
I’m not a Pinterest housewife
I don’t cook or make crafty things. I can’t decorate my home to save myself and my clothes usually come from Walmart or a thrift store. And speaking of clothes, did you know you are supposed to separate laundry? I just found that out (then decided I didn’t care. They’ll all get clean) The few things I have that I feel confident in were either gifts or ensembles I copied off a manikin, which Value Village doesn’t have a lot of.
I loved this blog about common themes of women’s ministry because that is an atmosphere where I have always felt the most awkward. Is there a place for a dorky girl who is nerdy for history and apologetics and could care less about scrapbooking and tips for applying mascara? (Yes, that was an actual topic of a women’s ministry event I attended.) One of the things I love most about my amazing church is that we take “Come as you are” very seriously. PJs, yard-work clothes, homeless, it’s all good.
I’m not wealthy
Donnie and I married at 17 and 22 and had children right away, before either of us had a college education. So you can imagine why we’re not going to make the cover of Forbes Magazine anytime soon. I get self-conscious about my house or the activities we have to pass on and often think that our finances are being judged as a poor decision to start our family so young, instead of just being thankful for everything that God has blessed us with.
Like so many people, I’ve spent too many years allowing my insecurities to define me instead of basking in the freedom and wholeness that comes with belonging to Christ. What Jesus did for us on the cross allows us to have some pretty incredible labels. All of which are better than anything we could ever put on ourselves:
I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
I have been justified.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I am a member of Christ’s body.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
I am free from condemnation.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
God works for my good in all circumstances.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I cannot be separated from the love of God.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
I am a citizen of heaven.
But our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20
I have been given a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:16
I am God’s temple.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6
I am God’s workmanship.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
What you are not will never compare to what you are in Jesus!