Insecurity is our natural response to the knowledge that we have weaknesses and deficiencies. When we feel that we lack knowledge, beauty, pose, patience, wisdom, resolve, talents – insecurity develops.
No one enjoys insecurity. We sense that if we could just fill the areas we lack, our insecurity would vanish. And perhaps it would, but the problem is that we are not perfect people. We will always have weaknesses, sins, and deficiencies. So, does that mean that we are going to have to live with insecurity for the rest of our lives?
The Bible is clear that true freedom from insecurity is found in the understanding that we are not enough, and we must lean on Jesus as the only One who is.
Over the next three weeks I want to share three reasons why understanding and acknowledging we are not enough is liberating.
We do not have to to be something that we are not.
Recently, my six-year-old son prayed before I tucked him and his two brothers into bed. Among his usual requests was one that stood out: “Help us to not be running behind and in a hurry to go anywhere tomorrow,” he said.
His earnest, simple request broke my heart. Why? Because Micaiah doesn’t really care about being late to Bible study or school, so it wasn’t out of an inner desire to be timely. There was no doubt in my mind that it was because his mom becomes a serious crank-case when the family is running behind.
It is astounding how often I am waiting on a small person to do something at a faster pace than what they are going at. My normal response to this is a kind of visceral angst.
Visceral. Something that is felt viscerally is felt “deep down.” A visceral reaction proceeds from instinct rather than intellect.
Maybe you experience a visceral reaction when waiting in line at the grocery store. You know you shouldn’t be impatient. That waiting an extra five minutes will not actually change your day. Your gut reaction to the wait is visceral.
Obviously, I don’t enjoy my visceral impatience. Not only do I have guilt over the way I’m affecting my children whom I love dearly, but it is not fun for me either. I can’t say that I feel both happy and impatient at the same time.
Hearing my six-year-old pray that we wouldn’t be in a hurry gave me some motivation for a change. “I will not be impatient tomorrow,” I declared to myself.
The next morning, I woke up before my children and prepared myself for what lay ahead: “I am not going to get snippy with them while we are getting ready to go to Bible study!”
My kids got up, and we began our normal morning routine: diaper changes, breakfast, clean clothes. Somewhere along the line someone slowed down. Before I knew it it we needed to be out the door in five minutes and it clearly wasn’t going to happen that way. Which is to say, before I knew it, I was filled with frustration and angst.
“How has this happened?! I told myself I was not going to let this happen today!”
Day after day, try as I might, the impatience was there, almost like some creature that was separate from me that I couldn’t beat off. But it wasn’t some foreign creature, it was me.
I was faced with the reality that I couldn’t change me, even though I really wanted to.
The fact that I couldn’t change was defeating. I do not want to be the kind of mom that is always snapping at her kids, but that is who I am.
I Am Not Enough
I must change, but I am finding that there is freedom in not trying to change myself on my own. Knowing that I am not enough leads me to look to the One who is.
I am still a work in progress, and some days look worse than others, but I am learning to rely on Christ to defeat my impatience. I begin each morning with an earnest prayer to God to give me the ability to be kind and loving to my kids. When I am snippy while waiting on them, I apologize to them and ask for their forgiveness right away. I speak with God all throughout the day and ask Him to give me the strength I don’t have.
I am not enough, and on my own I never will be.
But God is.
God is patient with His children, and He has given me the Holy Spirit so that I can be patient with mine as well.
Worry, greed, lust, anger, the list goes on. When we experience these sinful visceral feelings, may we be reminded of our need for Christ – both for forgiveness and for the power to defeat our sin.
It is freeing to understand that I don’t have to conjure up what I don’t have. Only Christ can give what I need. May we stop looking inward and instead focus our eyes on the only One who is enough.