Thursday, December 6, 2012

Insecure, or Self-Focused?

If you know me well at all, (which doesn't take much considering I'll talk your ear off within the first 20 minutes of meeting you) you probably know that I am not the most confident person in the world. Insecure would be one of the first words that come to mind if I were to describe myself to you. I rarely like my hair or appearance in general, and receiving compliments does NOT come naturally to me. I hate (more like despise) pictures of myself, and I will admit that that there are still some days (okay, a lot) that I walk into the bathroom and turn off the light to brush my teeth so I don't have to see my reflection in the mirror. And to be honest, until recently, I have always thought that, while being insecure kinda painful and isn't exactly the greatest feeling in the world, at least I'm focusing on the bad in me rather than the good, right? I mean, that sounds much more humble than puffing myself up with pride!

BUT... a dear friend of mine mentioned recently to me that, while humility is certainly not taking pride in your accomplishments or achievements, it is not putting yourself down, either. As I was thinking about this, I realized that the perfect example of humility was Jesus. He came to earth and was born where? Not in a magnificent palace, not the son of and earthly king and queen, NOT exalted high above the "common people" of the time. He was born in a feed box that animals eat out of. He grew up in the home of a carpenter, and would later die on a crudely-fashioned piece of carpentry, with nails through His utterly divine yet completely human hands.  Obviously Jesus didn't come to earth with the purpose of glorifying Himself above others. But you know what? Jesus wasn't self-conscious about being born in a manger, either. The Bible doesn't say a word about Jesus being insecure about his lowly childhood of being a carpenter. What about dying the death of sinners? Wouldn't that be embarrassing, and degrading, for the Son of God??????

So we know Jesus didn't take pride in His divinity. We know He wasn't self-conscious about His behind-the-scenes childhood. We know what Jesus wasn't, so what WAS He?

Jesus was the man who reached out to the lepers, the outcast of society. Jesus was the man who associated with tax collectors, the despised and sinful. Jesus was the one who allowed himself to be crucified on a cross next to the ultimate sinners. Why? Not so He could look good, not so He could keep up His reputation, NOT to increase His popularity... to take all the sins of humanity upon Himself.  It seems there is nothing about Jesus that is self-oriented. He wasn't interested in making himself look good. He was humble, but  He wasn't self-conscious. The only word with "self" in it that can describe Jesus is selfless.

 Being self-conscious and prideful about achievements have only one focus: self. My insecurities about myself are just that: about ME. And when my focus is on me, no matter how negative the spin I put on myself, I'm NOT being humble. Instead, I'm taking my focus OFF of Jesus, OFF of the needs on others, and making, well, me, first priority.

Goodness, the more I write, the more I get depressed. I have so far to go, and so much to work on. And then I realize something else: I can't do the work by myself! Yes I am insecure. Yes I have flaws and failures. The more I try to get by in my own strength, the more miserably I fail, and the more insecure and self-centered I get.  I can allow Satan to trick me into making my insecurities my focus, or I can let God use them to make me rely daily on Him for my security. It's a choice. And for me, at least, it's a daily fight. But it's worth the battle. Because I'm not in it alone.


  1. You are NOT in the battle alone, that is so right! You've got the King of the universe on your side, and a crowd of friends here to support and encourage you as you strive to follow God! <3

  2. I love you, Hannah P, and I'm right there with you!!

  3. Thank you for being willing to be transparent on here, Hannah. I really appreciate your honesty and godly thoughts. I am working on memorizing Philippians 2, so I have been thinking about Jesus' humility recently, as well. As one writer put it, humility is not thinking less of's thinking about yourself less.