At one point or another, I believe we all have a personal battle with our insecurities. Some of us experience more battles than others but this is a war that affects us all.
Insecurities were my enemy for the duration of my teenage years. I hated myself. I couldn't even look at my reflection in the mirror. I remember crying tirelessly over comments my “friends” made and shouting at God for making me ugly!
I believed I was the only person in the entire world struggling with them. Everyone around me seemed so confident and proud of the skin they were in. I questioned, 'why did I get the short straw?'
Looking back now, I think my reactions were pretty extreme. But in those moments, for the good part of 5 years, I couldn’t see past my insecurities. When I stopped shouting at God and instead started listening to Him, I was able to search for His answers and what I found changed my life!
God directed me some amazing heroes in the Bible, who also battled with their insecurities. People like Moses, Gideon, Hannah and Leah to name but a few. Although the Bible may not specifically say that they were insecure, I resonate with these stories and i'm sure you will too.
Tackling Insecurity through the eyes of Bible Characters
When God appeared to Moses in a burning bush to tell him he had been chosen as a leader, Moses tried to say no to the post! Was he scared of standing up against the family who spared his life? Did he feel unworthy because the guilt of killing a man? Nope...So what then?
“But Moses said, “No, Lord, don't send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven't become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.” The Lord said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. Now, go! I will help you to speak, and I will tell you what to say.” But Moses answered, “No, Lord, please send someone else.”” - Exodus 4:10-13
Actually, Moses was insecure about his speech! In his eyes he was not an eloquent speaker. He couldn't understand why anyone would choose him as a spokesperson. Was God really choosing him to speak on His behalf? Yes, Yes he was. We know Moses grew up to be one of the greatest leaders of all time. Imagine if God would've taken no for an answer!
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, called him a “brave and mighty man” (Judges 6:12), and told him he was going to rescue Israel, Gideon was a little shook. I see a glimpse of insecurity here...
“Then the Lord ordered him, “Go with all your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you.” Gideon replied, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”” - Judges 6:14-15
Gideon just felt weak. He suffered from comparisson. It gets the best of us. He started comparing himself to everyone else in the tribe. He even concluded that out of his entire already weak clan, he was the weakest of them all. Was God actually saying he would be a hero? Yes, Yes He was! Gideon lead a troop of just 300 men into battle against a vast army and they conquered. One of the greatest battles of all time.
God was taking me on a journey, I saw how He was speaking to these men, making them leaders...but what about the women? Could anyone actually relate to my struggle?
They say “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Lies! Words hurt, words can hurt even more. I can get over a broken leg, it'll heal, but it’s harder to just forget the verbal and emotional abuse.
“Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.
Each time Elkanah offered his sacrifice, he would give one share of the meat to Peninnah and one share to each of her children. And even though he loved Hannah very much he would give her only one share, because the Lord had kept her from having children. Peninnah, her rival, would torment and humiliate her, because the Lord had kept her childless. This went on year after year; whenever they went to the house of the Lord, Peninnah would upset Hannah so much that she would cry and refuse to eat anything. Her husband Elkanah would ask her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won't you eat? Why are you always so sad? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?”” - 1 Samuel 1:2, 4-8
Hannah faced the struggle of being infertile, unable to have children, like many women today. She had the additional struggle of a verbally abusive woman who was also married to her husband. What a mess! Yes, her husband loved her, Yes, he showed her love, but that didn’t make her insecurities go away.
I don’t know about you, but I think I could have lived with some of my insecurities, if the words of others didn't make it so hard for me to accept myself. I wanted to be anyone but me because of the painful words hurled at me like dodgeballs. Maybe thats how Hannah felt too.
Was God calling Hannah to a life of depression and despair? Was this all she would ever know? No! We see in the rest of 1 Samuel 1 (please go read it, it’s amazing), that God hears. Hannah cries out to God, God hears and gives her the desires of her heart. A son of her own, Samuel. What I love about Hannah is that she dedicates him back to God. God also not only blesses her with one child, but opens her womb and she becomes the mother she always wanted to be.
We also have Leah, Leah’s story is nothing short of crazy! Leah is the character I believe I can relate to the most.
“Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger Rachel. Leah had lovely (*weak) eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel, so he said, “I will work seven years for you, if you will let me marry Rachel.”
Laban answered, “It is not the custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. Wait until the week's marriage celebrations are over, and I will give you Rachel, if you will work for me another seven years.”
Jacob had intercourse with Rachel also, and he loved her more than Leah. Then he worked for Laban another seven years. When the Lord saw that Leah was loved less than Rachel, he made it possible for her to have children, but Rachel remained childless.”
Genesis 29:16-18, 26-27, 30-31
Imagine having a beautiful, talented sister who gets all the attention and always being overlooked. I can imagine the jealousy between them and on top of that, no-one ever saw her potential. Even her own dad doubted her ability to ever get married. Ouch! He forced her to share a husband who didn't even want her! Some versions even say he hated her! No doubt her sister, Rachel had many marriage offers, but Leah, clearly had none! If it was't bad enough already feeling like the ugly duckling, she became an ultimate third wheel in her own marriage! Her whole story screams insecurity!
But in all that chaos, God saw her, God loved her and God still chose her. Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Christ and there we see the name Judah...Jacob and Leah’s son! Leah, overlooked, outcast, cast aside Leah, was a part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world!
As you can see, insecurities come in all shapes and sizes and we all struggle with them in some way or another. I find it so awesome how God can use the very things we are insecure about, to glorify Him.
God knew Moses was insecure about his speech, so He made him spokesperson so he had no choice but to fully rely on God. Gideon knew he was the weakest of the weak, so God used him in his weakness to be impossibly victorious. In doing so it was evident that only by the power of God they won. Hannah was tormented because she was childless, but God gave her not only a son, but a faithful prophet as a miracle child. And Leah must have hated her life and thought she was worthless, but God saw her true worth, enough to include her name in the genealogy of Christ. Wow.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Psalm 139:1-2, 13-16
I want to encourage you with this, yes, you may have insecurities... we all do. But give them over to God and watch what He can do! He may not change your body or take away your stammer. He may not give you children or erase your haters, but He can give you so much more! He knows you. He loves you. He made you and you are incredible.
About The Author
I am a 23 year old Illustrator/animator who loves all things Christian apparel. I have a passion for sharing the love of God through my art and my testimony.