Be beautiful. Do this and that.
Enhance your self-esteem.
You must be confident.
Raise up your voice as a woman.
Be sophisticated and modern.
Don’t eat too much, you’ll get fat.
Your skin must be fairer.
Let’s work out, so we can be sexy.
I need to have someone for my security.
These are common statements in our society that is dominated by “self.” What if you could not even love yourself? What if you are not as beautiful as how the world defines it? What if you find nothing that will make you confident, sophisticated, and modern? What if there is no one to turn to all this time? We find ourselves being locked in a world of insecurity, I bet.
I hate the word insecurity. The more so, its meaning. I have seen how women like me became a victim of this. Long hours of wasted time were poured out just to look good and feel better on the outside.
Today, the world has done a great job in continuously twisting God’s perspective, even when it comes to women’s role. It is crazy how we let others define us instead of being defined by God.
We noticed that a lot of women are into self-esteem nowadays. There are even courses intended for women who would really aspire to be personally esteemed. I was recently browsing my social media account when an advertisement caught my eye. It says, “My Self-Love Workshop.” I got curios and found myself browsing through it. I was saddened that the thought of the workshop is about self-esteem and self-love. It promotes loving yourself and setting aside even your family to focus on improving yourself. Their tagline is “F.L.Y. – First Love Yourself.” But how come that despite this seemingly wise counsel from people, a lot of women are still lost and wallowing in the mud of insecurity, depression, and even vanity? The saddest part? Even Christian women fall into this. And, we wonder why.
Insecurity. What makes us feel so insecure?
If you are someone who has also fallen into this kind of limbo, you probably knew the reasons well. When the Lord has finally saved me from that situation, my eyes began to see why. I have recognized and lifted them up to the Lord and asked for forgiveness for committing such. Here are some of the realizations that I got from that shallow view of myself:
- We tend to compare ourselves with others.
Yes, a lot of us are somehow, expert in doing comparison. One thing I learned about comparing myself with others is that I could never win when compared with others. There might be someone who is lesser than me, but whatever I do, there are always women who are a lot better than me – in outward appearance, in the achievements of life, in position, and even in the intellectual capability.
Every time we start to look at others, we could not help but pity ourselves because some women are far better than us. I used to ask, “Why am I not as beautiful as this woman?” or “How can I be as smart as her?” And, I always find myself always trying my best to be like someone I don’t even know. Because of this, I get so tired and exhausted with that self-inflicted pain. There is no joy. There is no peace. Discouragements often come along with.
- We want to be the center of attraction.
Human as we are, fame and popularity are some of what we seek after in this self-centered society. We want to be the center of everything. We want the world to function and revolve around us. Women, in most cases are being trapped into thinking that we are secured when we are the apple of everyone’s eye. We feel loved and satisfied. But is this really what makes us complete? How come that famous celebrities like Kate Spade who seemingly has everything chose to end her life?
- We join today’s bandwagon of self-empowerment and self-esteem.
You might not want it, but sometimes, we just feel that we need to join the bandwagon of the current trend. It denotes acceptance and sense of belongingness. Most often than not, we don’t understand it. But something inside of us tells us to go with the flow. We are created with a longing that no one can satisfy except for the Lord.
However, there are times when we look for it outside – with people, things, money, and such. It is sad when we finally see ourselves swimming with the current with no definite way to go to.
- We love ourselves too much.
I mentioned about the training that encourages women to love themselves more than anything and anyone else. It is completely the opposite of how the scriptures teach us to deny ourselves, so we can follow Jesus. After all the effort of women to fight against their traditional role, until now, they have not really found satisfaction in loving themselves. Why? Because loving ourselves is already innate in us. We don’t need to learn it. It’s there from the start.
The Lord never encourages us to love ourselves, instead He said that we ought to love others the way we love ourselves. Because it is! How much more if we still learn to love ourselves more?
Selfishness is what drives us to feel insecure. In this modern era of selfishness, as Christian women, how can we separate ourselves from this trend and be women who rise above the common and be secured in Jesus?
- Remember our new identity in Christ.
When God saved you and me, the bible tells us that we are already a new creation – the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). For before, we once sought those things from the world, in Christ, we are no longer slaves for our fleshly cravings of physical beauty, success, fame, the ecstatic feeling of being loved and accepted by people. The moment that God became our Father, we are no longer be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). Let’s not find our identity outside Christ. As Christian women, we understand that physical beauty, worldly success, and money do not matter in the Lord’s kingdom. What matters most is our heart fully surrendered to Him and in obedience, we delight in His way.
2. Deny ourselves.
Not just for women, Christians are called to deny themselves. The Lord has commanded us to deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24). We cannot take up our cross and follow Jesus unless we empty ourselves and let God sets in. If we are to be consumed, let us be consumed by God. Imagine a woman who is occupied in loving and serving the Lord? Does she have time to compare herself with others or the leisure to focus on herself- how can she be beautiful, self-esteemed, and successful? I believed, none. She won’t be so insecure because her perspective is different from what common women are believing. This does not mean that she won’t take care of herself anymore. But, it only implies that her source of security and joy does not lie on herself because she knew that can’t satisfy her. She knew that the only source of her joy and security is in the Lord.
3. Our beauty must be defined by God.
As I looked in the mirror, I could not help myself but complain to God, “Lord, I am already ugly.” When my doctor advised me not to use any make up for health reasons, I felt a sudden loneliness. Putting on my make up everyday becomes part of myself. Taking it away from me is a hard thing. But then again, the Lord reminded me how I should be defining beauty in His eyes. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
It is not our physical beauty that He delights, but our reverence and fear for Him that separates true beauty from the temporal one.
4. Find lasting security in the Lord (not in this world or from people).
There’s a lot of verses in the bible that proves how secure we are in the mighty hands of God. Among those verses can be found in Psalm 91:
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust.”
When we truly anchor ourselves in the Lord, we would find ourselves being courageous, beautiful, and confident in Him. We won’t be wasting our time creating a different person within ourselves just to be loved and accepted by people. Once we forget ourselves and deny it, I am sure we would find ourselves doing impossible things for God. Our worth is found in the things that we do for the Lord and not for ourselves.
Amy Carmichael once said,
“God Hold us to that which drew us first, when the Cross was the attraction, and we wanted nothing else.”
When we, as Christian women think like this, then insecurities will never come our way. Our lives would be so focused on the Lord and we won’t find completeness outside of Christ.
Nothing is much better than a woman who finds her security in the way God made her.
Originally posted: https://changedlifedotblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/exchanging-temporary-insecurities-with-lasting-security-in-jesus/