In Chapters 5 and 6 of So Long Insecurity, Beth explores the different roots of insecurity: Instability in the home growing up, a significant loss, rejection, dramatic change, personal limitations, personal disposition, culture, and finally, pride. The one that spoke to me the most was the one that we actually have some control over: our pride. All of the others are somehow imposed upon us, but our pride? We have to own it and deal with it.
I know when I have a bout with insecurity, pride is the root of it. For example, one time in the last few months I needed to confront someone about an issue I was having in a ministry at church. Let me tell you, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I hate conflict! Why was I scared? Well, I was a little intimidated by this person-- he was known to never lose in a disagreement and he always had a great comeback for every point that was given. Yikes! I knew that nothing but jibberish was going to come out of my mouth and absolutely everything I would say would make no sense at all! My face would turn beet red and I would meekly retreat and back down. Or even worse, I might get defensive.
But ultimately, it was a pride issue. I didn't want to look like a fool. I didn't want to seem difficult or unbending. For goodness sake, I didn't want him not to like me! All pride issues. I had a legitimate concern and should have felt no insecurity in coming to this person and voicing them in a level-headed way. I should not have lost sleep over it. It was all about me and how I might be perceived after this discussion. (I did have a conversation with this person, and while it did not go as smoothly as I hoped, I didn't turn around and run out the door either!)
Beth says it best at the end of chapter 6, " We will never feel better about ourselves by becoming more consumed with ourselves. Likewise, we will never feel better about ourselves by feeling worse about others. Superiority can't give birth to security." And I wanted to feel superior and win that battle.
I am going to take Beth's advice when I feel the hurt and anxiety coming on: We can say the words, "Lord, that is nothing but pride. God, forgive me. Self, get over it." Like she says, pride is one of those roots that God can jerk up in a second, if we can pry our fingers loose and take ownership of it, and then, confess it and be freed from it.
Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. Take my pride and turn it into humility that is pleasing to you. Set me free from insecurity so I can go on with the great plans you have for me. Place your hand of blessing upon my head. Amen.