A few months back while listening to a sermon series by, Chip Ingram Living On The Edge he talked about living in authentic community. I heard him say, “We are all desperately insecure people.” The way we live this out depends on our back story, how we were raised, our experiences, our view of God, ourselves & others.
Insecurity is rooted in FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not being liked. You name it! It may be different for all of us, but we are all insecure in our own way.
He went on to explain how insecurity exhibits itself: Some of us are puffed up with pride and arrogance which is rooted in fear of being found out or found lacking; so we are driven to push harder, to accomplish much and climb that ladder of success to prove we are ok. Driven people also drive others, sometimes over the edge! Others of us are introverted to a fault. We would rather just sit on the side lines than get in the game for the very same reasons that the driven person pushes so hard! We don’t push at all! At any rate, insecurity is the root of it all. Which I have come to believe is the birth child of FEAR. I should know, I have been the victim of fear more than I care to share here! Be it panic attacks, sleepless nights, worry, anxiety all of it is rooted deeply in fear.
Over the past few years I have seen up close & personal how insecurity can damage relationships. How insecurity builds walls not bridges. Those who allow fear of losing control learn to isolate & insulate those they “love” from all others. They become possessive to a fault. It is heart-breaking for all who feel the ripple effects. Like an infectious disease if not treated it has the power can to effect & infect the people we love the most. Instead of keeping them leashed to us, it pushes them far away. The very thing we feared becomes reality – all because of insecurity.
I know this because I once lived in the shadow of insecurity. Which leads to social awkwardness and silent pain. I adapted and learned to live in the shadow of others so I could just breathe and experience a degree of comfort. This insecurity affected my entire family and was the root of my battle with depression.
Now, I see it for what it is.
Insecurity builds walls not bridges.
Walls are erected to keep the insecure person feeling safe. In the process of protecting their hearts they end up building tall, thick walls that at times are impenetrable. I am sure that I am not the only one who has struggled in this battle with insecurity. We all have people like this in our lives. Maybe we have tried reaching out to this person from a pure motive with no strings attached but each time our actions are misinterpreted through a screen of insecurity and the need to be in control and at the same time control those closest to this person. Which in turn shuts down communication and relationship with others. It is unfair and can I say also unjust? Leashes were made for animals not people!
As a recovering insecure, fearful, anxiety filled person I can spot one a mile away. Not that I am sitting in judgement but you know the quote, “It takes one to know one”? Yes….that was me. What I have learned from my own insecurity issue is this:
Yes, we are all desperately insecure people. ALL of us. Even the most confident people we know are insecure.
Fear desires to control others, schedules, environments and creates an atmosphere of
oppression for all those affected by it. Fear erects tall, thick walls. Keeps those they love so close that over time they feel like they will suffocate.
Fear builds the walls to protect but in protecting our safe little cocoon others are pushed out and kept at a distance.
Fear breeds a sense of competition.
Fear feeds comparison even if in our minds.
Even with those we say we love the most, and makes for a very unhealthy environment to live in and be “happy” in.
Insecurity fosters fear, fear feeds control, control erects walls, walls result in insolation and eventually isolation. Isolation destroys relationships. What a waste of energy! When instead that energy could be used to build bridges.
Do you struggle with insecurity, control, fear and inferiority? Or, maybe you have someone like that in your life or live with someone like this and are miserable? What are we to do? How do we build a bridge when they are busy building a wall?
PRAY for them and for ourselves.
PRAY and choose NOT to live your life under their thumb but enjoy the freedom, love and joy found in Jesus Christ.
PRAY they would see and be able to be honest with themselves and God.
PRAY the wounds of their past would be healed by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
Remember they are the real prisoner behind the walls of their own making. Be patient. Love them where they are. Speak truth into their lives when led to. Help them get counseling from a biblically sound and compassionate professional counselor.
Let’s ask the Lord to help us tear down the walls we have built up to keep others out and instead learn to trust Him to help us begin building bridges to one another’s hearts.