"And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad."--Genesis 40:6(NKJV)
"But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God."--Ruth 1:16(NLT)
What is Insecurity? Insecurity is a lack of confidence or self-doubt. It is the lack of assurance. It is the state of being uncertain or doubtful of one's self-worth. Insecurity is feeling like we do not measure up, that we are not good enough, or that others are "better". Insecurity is comparing ourselves to others using the lenses of the world or our own distorted views and perceptions based on our individual experiences, and thereby drawing our own conclusions about who we are.
What are the signs of insecurity? * Feeling happy when someone else is sad; or feeling sad when someone else is happy * Jealousy/envy * Arrogance/pride * Overly eager to please or help because you want to be liked * Difficulty saying "No!" because you do not want anyone mad at you. You say "Yes!" in efforts to keep peace. * Pouting/sulking, manipulative behavior in efforts to get your way or to get someone to change his/her mind. * Being overly talkative * Gossiping, tale-bearing, back-biting/back stabbing * Use of foul language--a hiding behind a tough exterior * Negative, pessimistic, critical of others ideas or efforts * Bullying, intimidating, threatening * Picking fights * Materialistic * Too competitive * Body language--slouching, folded arms, avoiding eye contact, shifting eyes * Promiscuity * Violent/Addictive behavior * Shaming others openly/demeaning * Encouraging others to quit * Being a know-it-all * Purposely causing someone to stumble or purposely hindering/impeding their success
Overcoming Insecurity Would you believe the key to overcoming insecurity is rooted in helping others? As we have been studying the lives of Joseph (Genesis 37-41) and Ruth (Ruth 1-2), our pastor revealed something that Joseph and Ruth had in common. They both cared about others and were committed to seeing others succeed, even when they were in a place of personal distress. For Joseph, although he was in prison, he noticed that two of his fellow inmates (the baker and the butler) were sad. Little did he know that his concern for them would be the catalyst to him becoming ruler and lord over Egypt (Genesis 41). For Ruth, her decision not to leave her mother-in-law, Naomi, launched her into her destiny as Boaz' wife (Ruth 4:10) and into the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:5).
A Soul Care Plan for Overcoming Insecurity 1. Acknowledge the insecurity. Make a volitional choice to care and be concerned about others. Move beyond you comfort zone. Even if showing concern for others does not come naturally to you, God will honor your efforts and help you in this area. 2. Make a list of people you can be concerned about (a co-worker, neighbor, your child's teacher, a family member, etc.) 3. Pray, pursue God, study his word. Read a Proverb and a Psalm daily--security is developed based on a relationship with God. 4. Make an exchange. Exchange your beliefs for God's truth as Ruth did when she opted to not to return to Moab--a place of familiarity and comfort.
Personal Reflection Read the stories of Joseph and Ruth, and then consider and reflect upon the following questions: Who are you concerned about today? Who can you help along the way? Who can you encourage today? Who can you cheer on--even in the midst of your own personal struggle or hardship? Making a decision to be concerned about someone else will not only impact the person, but will also free you of insecurity as well as unlock your blessings, as in the cases of Joseph and Ruth.
Prayer for Overcoming Insecurity Father, in the name of Jesus, I acknowledge that I am insecure. I pray that you would help me in this area. Give me a heart that is concerned for others. I exchange my views, opinions, and thoughts that have been cultivated in lies and misperceptions, for the truths of your word. I receive your truth and the guarantee that your truth will free me of insecurity and launch me into a place of security that can only be found in you. Amen.