By Whitney Hopler , Crosswalk.com
Insecurity - a deep sense of doubt about your worth and place in the world - is never God's will for you. But as a woman living in a culture that's constantly telling you you're not enough - attractive enough, smart enough, rich enough, or failing to measure up in some other way - you must be intentional about viewing yourself the way God sees you rather than giving into the world's pressures. The truth is that God loves you completely just the way you are, and the security He offers you can never be shaken.
So say "goodbye" to insecurity and "hello" to the confidence God wants you to enjoy. Here's how:
Stop looking for security in the wrong places.
Many sources of temporary good feelings exist, and you may be tempted to think you derive security from them: a romantic relationship, financial success, popularity, recapturing youthfulness, beauty, good health, power, prestige, credentials, and job certainty. But recognize that only one source - God Himself - can deliver true security that lasts. You can lose everything else and end up disappointed. But God will never leave or forsake you. So don't waste your time and energy pursuing security through anything else other than a relationship with God through Jesus.
Understand what's contributing to your insecurity.
Many factors may play a part. If you grew up in an unstable home, remember that God is a perfect Parent who will always take good care of you. If you lost someone or something significant to you (such as the death of a loved one or a job loss), keep in mind that even when you can't have a particular person or situation back, you can always get your sense of security back because God cares about what you've been through.
If you've been rejected, remember that God will always accept you since He loves you deeply and unconditionally. If you've experienced dramatic change, realize that God wants to use change to accomplish good purposes in your life - to help you grow into a stronger person rather than one who gives into insecurity.
So decide to trust God throughout the changes in your life. If you're dealing with personal limitations (such as a physical handicap or learning disability), know that you can rely on God's strength to help you live a full and faithful life. If you have a sensitive disposition that makes you more prone to feeling insecure when faced with challenges, remind yourself often that God will work out everything in your life for good purposes when you trust Him. If you're struggling with the sin of pride (which reveals insecurity because it shows fear of mistakes and rejection), confess your sin to God and trust in Him rather than your own efforts so you can enjoy the real confidence that leads to security.
Realize that insecurity will make a fool out of you.
Insecurity can blind you to how blessed you really are. It can confine you to a life of limits while preventing you from living with the freedom God wants you to enjoy. It can cause you to act in weird, embarrassing ways with other people. But if you trust God, He'll help you move from foolishness to fulfillment.
Claim the strength and dignity that are yours.
God has created you in His image, and His will is for you to live with all the strength and dignity He intends for you. Recognize that you are incredibly valuable because of how God made you, and therefore you're also worthy of respect. The same is true for every other person on the planet. So accept the reality of who you are and who others are, and let that knowledge motivate you to tap into your God-given strength and dignity when making decisions.
Pray for the ability to see yourself as God sees you.
Ask God to help you view yourself from His perspective so you can develop a sense of security that can't be shaken. Pray for God to do through you what you can't do for yourself.
Relate to men in healthy ways.
Most men are repulsed by insecurity in women, but respond positively to women who relate to them with confidence. Give up unhealthy ways of relating to men that reveal insecurity, such as trying to control them, nagging them, or asking them to share too many details about their temptations and mistakes then obsessing over that knowledge. Instead, ask God to empower you to relate to the men in your life with confidence - such as by setting pure boundaries with your boyfriend or by confronting your husband if he's engaging in sexual sin like watching pornography.
Relate to other women in healthy ways.
You can strengthen all of your relationships with the other women in your life if you relate to them with confidence. From showing your daughter how faith can make her a strong person to enjoying close friendships, security will enrich your life. So stop unhealthy practices that show insecurity, such as making comparisons between yourself and other women, and competing with other women in rivalries. Instead, seek to encourage and support the other women in your life.
Change the way you feel by changing the way you think.
Every day, ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can think the right thoughts about each situation you encounter and have the security of knowing that God will help you get through anything well. Whenever someone or something triggers insecurity in you, stop in your tracks and ask yourself how a secure person would respond. Then do so - even if you feel insecure - and by taking the right actions, you'll develop a secure attitude, which will then make you feel less insecure in the future.
Remember that whenever someone or something causes you to feel sad, confused, angry, or threatened, you have the power to choose whether or not it will assault your security. Use this God-given power by thinking the right thoughts, which will help you choose the right actions, which then will change wrong feelings to right ones.
Keep trusting God.
When you make it a habit to trust God every day, your sense of security will grow - and it will never be taken away from you.
Beth Moore's book, So Long, Insecurity: You've been a Bad Friend to Us (copyright Tyndale House Publishers).
Beth Moore has written many best-selling books and is a dynamic teacher and a prolific Bible-study author whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. Beth is focused on teaching women all over the world and is known and respected wherever she goes. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters and lives in Houston, Texas, where she leads Living Proof Ministries and teaches an adult Sunday school class at her church. Beth is one of the best known women in the evangelical Christian market. To learn more, visit Living Proof Ministries at www.lproof.org.
photo credit: Unsplash/Miguel Bruna