Other than the temptation to residually engage in secret sin, I find insecurity to be the enemy’s weapon of choice to sabotage Christian leaders. Insecurity is the quiet voice whispering into our hearts. “You’ll never add up. You’ll never be good enough. What you have is not needed. What they have is better.” Those whispers eventually impact how we see others by growing into shouts of, “They are against you! They must be controlled! They think they are better than you!” Once this occurs, it is difficult to identify and admit our insecurity, because the friend who gleefully gallivants around with insecurity is pride. And as Solomon has forewarned us, the road sign of pride is typically the last warning before crashing into the ditch of destruction (Prov 16:18).
So, here is my attempt at encouraging leaders (young and old alike—unfortunately, we do not simply “age” out of this battle) to fight insecurity with everything you have. For I have seen insecurity grow in the hearts and lives of seemingly “mature” and “seasoned” Christian leaders—and it’s not pretty. Unchecked insecurity is sure to afflict unnecessary pain in the lives of those we love. It will leave carnage all around us while we unknowingly wonder why relational rifts and wounded people in our sphere of influence have become the norm.
- Fight for a culture of honor. I often say, “In a culture of honor, everyone wins!” I believe that with all of my heart. Honor has a way of dismantling insecurity. Honor declares, “I need what is in/on your life!” while simultaneously communicating with great humility, “You need what is in/on my life.” It’s often said that culture trumps vision any day of the week. I wholeheartedly concur! To create a culture of honor requires a “fight” because we live in arguably the most dishonorable culture on the planet today! We are exposed to dishonor on a daily basis via social media and even in some of our face to face interactions. This desensitizes us and results in a counterfeit version of Christianity where both young and old alike are plagued with insecurity—never really harnessing the full gifts and callings of God on our lives! A careful study of Jesus’ interactions with people will give us vision to cultivate homes, teams, and ministries that champion a culture of honor.
- Assess your gifts & understand your anointing. You are gifted and anointed. You have been brought into the earth for such a time as this. Neither of these realities can be overstated. It is your God-given responsibility to identify your gifts and talents which will then lead to a journey of understanding the anointing God has placed on your life. Gifts are signposts leading you to your purpose. The anointing is the supernatural power of God that rests on you to serve others and advance God’s kingdom. Whatever your gifting, there is an anointing reserved with your name on it! So you do not have to vie and compete for the gift in someone else or the anointing on someone else! Take the time to complete gifting & personality tests, and even more importantly invest in the development of your gifts. Nothing keeps insecurity at bay like humbly acknowledging that every gift you possess has come from the “father of lights” above.
- Prioritize and value the “garden” (thanks for the metaphor, Pastor Dino Rizzo). I know, this seems so elementary, but you would be amazed at the number of leaders who allow the tyranny of the urgent to rob them of personal time with God. One verse that became a PILLAR of truth for me in one of the most insecure seasons of my life is Colossians 2:10a, “In Christ, you have been made complete.” I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken (and continue to speak) this over my own life while preaching this to thousands of teenagers through the years: “In Christ, I am complete…full…lacking NOTHING!” This verse coupled with another scripture I first heard in an old Israel Houghton worship song that says, “He [God] rejoices over you with singing and dancing” have become the chief antidote for insecurity in my life. See Zephaniah 3 for the full passage; it will deposit the delight of God in you.
Insecurity is sent from the enemy to assassinate every gifting God has deposited in your life. I believe that the more time you spend with Jesus, the more he affirms his plans and calling on your life. One of my favorite lyrics that so deeply moves my heart right now is sung by my good friend, Cory Asbury. Though “Reckless Love” is making its way around the world and sure to be a staple worship anthem for decades to come, there is a more obscure song on that same album entitled, “Your Love is Strong.” It boldly declares, “I have come to know a love who’s power has overcome every insecurity. Heaven moves and demons flee as I lift my voice to sing, ‘Oh Your love is strong.’” Exploring, studying, and receiving the strong love of God is the key to annihilating the assassin of insecurity in our lives.