“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5
I come before you this morning overwhelmed, my arms heavily laden with massive messages. It’s Saturday and that means it’s time for a book report, and if the first few chapters made us want to run screaming from our insecurities, this one makes you stand and stare at them face to face, eye to eye. I’ll admit to a bit of quivering by the time I finished the allotted reading… and a sigh of relief that God had the foresight to allow us to split this chapter in half! I’d had as much as I could stand.
Today’s word of the day was the second half of 1 Timothy filled with words of wisdom and instructions for godly living. And I had my scriptures all underlined and I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, until I picked up So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. This chapter is all about digging in the dirt and finding the roots to the bad fruit of Insecurity, and there are several! The ones discussed in today’s reading were:
* Instability in the home
* A significant loss
Instability in your home growing up can certainly be a root of your current insecurity. Whether it was parents who argued, abuse, or even financial instability it’s not too hard to see how these could be the culprits of insecurity.
Beth says on page 65, “At the root of chronic insecurity is often the primal fear that no one will take care of us.” I don’t know about you, but THAT’S a statement that hit me between the eyes! I wasn’t expecting it in the least and the moment my eyes fell on it I felt like she knew me. I don’t remember EVER feeling like that as a child, my parents were awesome. But as an adult…. well that’s another story. I have this strange independence thing going on where I don’t want other people taking care of me, that I can do it myself. But I’m preeetty sure that that stems from a fear that they wouldn’t take care of me if I gave them the opportunity. So I’ve made it a point to take care of myself instead, making my fear null and void. Except, I CAN’T do everything. I can’t be everywhere. I can’t live up to my own expectations for myself, which makes me feel like a complete failure most of the time. Sooooo, I’m thinking that that tactic doesn’t really work very well for alleviating the fear, but rather just dresses it up in pretty dresses and calls it something else – independence. It’s still a fear of not being taken care of – aka insecurity.
But then at the end of the section Beth comes in with a verse that hit the proverbial nail on the head with such accuracy it’s comforting. “Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I
will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.” Isaiah 46:4 NCV No matter how little we trust our fellow man to care for us, no matter how orphaned we may feel from our parents, God is always there. He will always be there to care for us, even if we don’t want His care. He MADE you and will take care of you. He will carry you and save you. It’s right there in scripture, His word, written down for all time as a promise to His people – you. And God never breaks His promises.
Significant loss was a section I didn’t expect to relate to that much, until I read it! Beth says on page 71 that, “Insecurity can result from a broken attachment of ANY kind, even one that seems relatively minor to others. If it translated as something huge to your heart, it is huge to God on your behalf. Before we move on, remember to always think broadly when you’re trying to analyze losses and their links to your insecurity. Even the loss of face or respect through some kind of public shame can have an immense impact. Wondering if everybody hates you takes no small toll on your soul.” BOY CAN I RELATE TO THAT!!!!! I have had more public humiliations in these last four years of writing than I think I ever had when I was growing up! And while I don’t think everyone hates me, I do certainly wonder if anyone likes me! It’s a constant question in my brain and my heart, perhaps you can relate.
Rejection: And now we get to the section where I hit my knees, rejection. All those public humiliations have taken their toll and most if not all have been received as rejection. On page 72 Beth says, “Nothing shouts a more convincing lie about our personal value than rejection, and it can reverberate with deafening pitch from any direction. Anywhere there is relationship, there is potential for rejection. … it is entirely possible to perceive that we’ve been rejected when we haven’t.” Wow! I mean really, WOW! And YES! Over the last few years of stepping into the field of ministry I have felt the sting of rejection with the best of them. My most painful have been when I have scheduled events on MULTIPLE occasions where no one showed up. And I don’t mean, where just a few people showed up and I’m calling them “no one”, I mean zero, zip, zilch, nada, NONE. One of the most brutal was when I scheduled a family movie night for the church. It was the first Friday of December and we were going to show Polar Express. I had hot cocoa and popcorn all ready. I had done all the legwork in advance, I had posted it in the church newsletter, the bulletin, I had even hand delivered invitations to parents standing in line after church to pick up their children from Sunday school. And yet in a church with literally THOUSANDS of members, many of them parents with young children, NO ONE, not one came to see the movie. I had felt so led by God to offer this service to the youth and parents in our church, I sowed as many seeds as I possibly could, but saw no harvest of interest. That night I left my family in the movie room and went into a darkened part of the church and cried in the lonely halls. I could understand why none of them had come to the Sunday school class I had tried to start for them, fear of commitment and study. But something fun like a movie with no commitment and no background study or time, just show up and watch a movie with your church family and not one single other family shows up? Talk about feeling rejected!
That wasn’t the first no show event of mine and it certainly wasn’t the last, by far! But it is one of the best examples of my experiences thus far with ministry. Seriously, tell me how I could walk out of a situation like that and NOT feel at least a small amount of rejection from my peers? I’ve constantly questioned what’s wrong with me? Why am I so unable to schedule events that people will show up to? My current solution, I’ve stopped scheduling them. Is that wrong? I don’t know. But it’s what I’ve got to do at the moment because I simply can’t bear that pain anymore. I’ve been hurt too many times by the ones I’m pouring my soul into, and if anything I just need a break from the heartache.
And yet, today, as I’m going through it all again, and boxing it all up to give over to Jesus; He showed me the cross. Who better to go to with this pain? Who on this earth knows rejection better than Jesus? He gives and He gives and He gives and we reject and we shun and we doubt. We spit at His efforts and we throw stones at His heart of love and acceptance and yet He stays there on that cross with arms open wide in love ready to welcome us home into His heart whenever we’ve exhausted ourselves enough to go there.
Thank You Jesus! You’re the BEST!