Season: 9 Episode: 142
Listen to episode 138 in Spanish:
We all struggle with insecurity from time to time. Shanda shares her recent battle of insecurity and the lessons she learned from it that might surprise you. When we are insecure, we make it about us but there is a way out of it.
Instagram and Facebook: @shandafulbright
Join my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2584147064952378/?ref=group_browse
Free Resources: https://shandafulbright.com/links
YouTube: Shanda Fulbright
Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to Biblical truth. I have a great episode for you today, especially if you struggle with insecurity. Who doesnt, right?
Before we begin, I want to let you know about the courses coming up at Online Christian Courses in Sept. Dr. Frank Turek is teaching IDHEF and I am teaching the middle school curriculum for 6th-8th graders called Let’s Get Real: Examining the evidence for God. This curriculum was co-written by myself and Dr. Turek and I’m telling you … it’s just what middle schoolers need. If you and your kids need the WHY behind the WHAT of your faith, go to OCC.school and get signed up today. People are already registering and my course will be capped.
Also, WIA has a conference coming up.
OK, so a few weeks ago, I was feeling all insecure and super dumb. It’s true. I’m not exaggerating. You have to understand, I feel like I’m in a realm of really smart people who know a lot and think well and it gets intimidating. It gets to me, I’m not gonna lie.
But then something happened around the 2nd day I was feeling sorry for myself and I realized that feeling insecure and comparing myself to others is so sinful because it’s rooted in self. When my focus is on me, it’s on the wrong person. I, like you, and every other Christian on earth is here for one reason: to know God and make Him known. When we feel insecure and mope around because we’re not like her or him, we’re self-centered. I’ll explain more about that in a minute.
This is partially a listener requested episode because I had someone message me and ask about how to fight finding your worth in man’s approval and so I want to talk about that too.
So, here’s what we’re going to talk about today:
- What is the root of insecurity and what do we need to realize to push past it?
- What is the danger in finding worth in man’s approval? And by man, I mean humans.
- What perspective do we need to walk away with to help us stay comfortable in our own skin?
And I’m saying OUR because you and I are in the same boat if you struggle with insecurity. I mean, we all do and we’ll have to fight it at times. Let’s be honest.
What is the root of insecurity and what do we need to realize to push past it?
Insecurity means lack of confidence and confidence means a firm trust. So when you are insecure, you don’t trust that you have what it takes to get the job done, or that you have what it takes to succeed, etc. We all have felt this way before and we will battle it throughout our life time, so I am not going to say that there is a cure all for insecurity.
Not at all.
But I will say that when you feel insecure, you are trusting in yourself and there’s been a breach in that trust. Right? If confidence means a firm trust and insecurity is a lack of confidence, then that means there’s been a breach in what I trusted myself to be able to do and I lack that trust now.
Which means …. We are focused on self.
Do you know where insecurity was birthed? If you said the garden of Eden, you’re right. It’s a result of the fall because insecurity usually happens when we compare ourselves to others. And there was no comparing before the fall.
I’ve said this before, but there was no better or best, no bad or worst before the fall. Those are comparison words. We only use the word better when we compare something good to something better. We only use the word worse when we compare something bad to something worse.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
So when we feel insecure, we are comparing ourselves to someone else and we are ultimately saying that person is better than us. Whose problem is that? Mine or the person I’m comparing myself to? It’s my problem!
And what does that say about where my focus is? It shows that it’s on me. You might be thinking it shows my eyes are on someone else, but I’m only using the other person to measure myself. Someone is going to come out better than the other in that case. Because that’s what happens when we compare.
Think about it: when we compare, we’re only going to have two outcomes – insecurity or pride.
Someone is going to be better and the other is going to be worse. Either way, you’re wrong. Because you never should have been comparing to begin with.
I posted to my instagram stories a few weeks ago when I was at CIA and I’ve done public speaking many times throughout my life. Well, on the first day of presentations, I go so nervous and I knew why – smart people were going to be critiquing me. And when I get nervous it’s not pretty. My mouth goes completely dry and when I say it’s completely dry, I mean dryer than the Sahara Desert. I was begging for water. And I know where all of the spit in my mouth goes …. It goes to my armpits.
For Petes sake, it’s not pretty.
But I left feeling really overwhelmed and frustrated because I allowed my insecurities get to me. I compared my knowledge to the other people in the room and I thought they were better. And when that happens thoughts like, “Why am I doing this?” Or, “I can’t do this” go through my head.
And that, my friend, is the crossroad. That is when the enemy wants you to veer off the road and quit. To allow those insecurities to keep you from doing what God has called you to do.
And that’s when you have a choice to make: You can quit. You can take the other road that’s more comfortable and less challenging. But God will only hold you accountable. No one else.
Here’s what you need to realize in order to push past insecurity:
- It’s not about you. Your job in life is to know God and make Him known. Get your eyes off of yourself. You won’t be able to do everything and you might not even do what you want. What do I mean by that? I would have loved to sing for the Lord, but I’m not a good singer. So guess what? I am not going to compare my voice to someone else who can sing well. That’s not my talent or gifting.
I didn’t dream of having a podcast and learning apologetics. I couldn’t have dreamt it because podcasts didn’t exist when I was growing up. If I’m honest, I just wanted to teach and teach others how to think well and know God. This podcast is ONE avenue to accomplish that. But not everyone will or should have a podcast and not everyone should be a teacher.
It’s not about what you want.
It’s about what gifts and talents God has given you, and trust me when I tell you this – He has given you some amazing gifts and talents. Use them well and use them to point others to Him.
2. Nurture your talents and gifting. What do I mean by that? Since I am a teacher and I love to talk apologetics, it is my job to be a lifelong learner. And honestly, as Christians, we should all be lifelong learners. If you have an area where you need to build your skills, do that. I study and read all the time. As I write curriculum, my brain literally hurts and gets tired. But I have to study and know what I’m talking about. Nurture your talents. Don’t give up because it’s too hard and don’t be lazy and not put in the work. We are to give our best to the Lord.
A parable that comes to mind with this is in Matthew 25:14-30. The word talent in this passage is regarding money, but the basic gist is that whatever God entrusts to us, we have a responsibility over and He will require it of us when He returns. Now, there were three men in this parable and they all received different amounts -one received 5 talents, the other 2 and the last one received 1 talent.
Notice that it wasn’t equal.
We all don’t get the same thing. Some of us get more but guess what happens if you get more – more is required. If the man who received 5 talents came back with 2 more, would the Lord have been pleased? They all doubled their money … except for the one with 1 talent. He buried it and didn’t do anything with it.
And we might think to ourselves that we don’t have what someone else does in way of knowledge or talent or skills. Does that excuse us? Well, let’s see what Jesus said.
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers …
and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The answer is no, We are not excused just because we don’t think what we have is valuable.
3. Insecurity is another form of vanity and narcissism. Again, it’s eyes on me. Oftentimes we think we get a pass for feeling insecure because it’s like we’re humble. But it’s not. It’s pride in reverse. And pride is pride and it’s not good no matter how you spin in.
What is the danger in finding worth in man’s approval? And by man, I mean humans.
John 12 has a few verse that have always haunted me. They go like this: 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
The praises of men will get you to do some crazy things … even deny the one you believe to be the Son of God.
A lot of things in life is a this or that. It’s an either it is or it isn’t. It’s a you do or you don’t.
And we either love the praises of God more than the praises of men or we don’t. It cannot be both. It is one or the other.
Don’t get me wrong, the praises of men are a temptation because with them we think we get acceptance and elevation. We are accepted by our peers and elevate by their praise. But that is the phisod of the praises of men.
We have to reconcile in our hearts that we will do what God has commanded us to do. That we might not hear His audible voice singing our praises but that He is there and the Holy Spirit within us is pushing us toward the finish line.
What comes with the praises of men:
Compromise: you will compromise your convictions and standards to adjust them to the one you’re trying to please. Why? Because you will find value in the immediate reward from the praises of men rather than the delayed yet eternal reward from the praises from God. And in reality, if you are with God, you are seated with Christ in the heavenly places even NOW. Ephesians 2:6 uses present tense here, not future tense. Because although the reward is eternal, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life now.
The praises of God are now.
You are seated with Christ now.
Your name is in the Book of Life now.
Nothing temporal is worth you trying to please men over God.
Now, we are to give our best to our bosses, our families and friends – and for that, they may sing your praises. But there is a difference between working to please others for what acceptance and giving your best to others to please God.
What perspective do we need to walk away with to help us stay comfortable in our own skin?
For all of my younger ladies out there, I want to encourage you because the older women are supposed to teach the younger. I am in my 40’s and really wish I had an older mentor outside of my family who could answer some questions and fill me with wisdom.
But I am a people pleaser by nature and I hate conflict. Sometimes it’s hard to rock the boat but you do become more comfortable in your own skin as you get older. I am an average person and I really don’t mind it. I know what I’m good at and what I’m not.
You too will get more comfortable in your own skin as you get older.
So remember that. I would say if you are in your mid 30’s and up, it should be getting easier. If you’re younger, it might be more difficult.
Also, for those of you who get caught up in comparison and insecurity, I would ask; what are you watching? Are you wrapped up into reality TV where there is a bunch of female drama? Because it’s not healthy. We take those things on when we expose ourselves to them often.
When I was at CIA last week, I met many people who wanted to be like someone they saw on a stage. But EVERY one of them had their own set of unique talents and gifts given to them by God. I was very impressed with the students. But if they do not realize that God will use them just as uniquely as the person they’re trying to be like, they will never use their talent to the maximum capacity. They won’t.
And that’s what I want you to remember.
Be who God made you and do that thing well. Invest in your unique talents and gifts. Know what you’re talking about. Read books. Readers are leaders. Christians are people of a book (the Bible) and we need to do a better job at being part of an intellectual faith.
We need you and all you have to offer for the kingdom.
I want to wrap this up today by reminding you that it’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s about Him. We are called to know God and to make Him known. What are you doing to make that happen? And how are you nurturing those gifts and talents to do that better?
If you bury the talent God gave you and try to mimic the talent of someone else, God will not give you a pass. So I want to encourage you to rise to the occasion and give your best to God and His kingdom.
You are unique and talented and those gifts are needed in this cultural moment. You can do this. Eyes off self – eyes on Jesus.
Insecurity is not humility – it’s pride.
That’s it for today. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a 5 star rating and/or review as it helps get the podcast into the earbuds of others.
If you have any questions about this or anything else I talk about, email me at hello2shandafulbright.com and I’ll catch you on the next one.