"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Psalm 139 V.14
Many put this bible verse on their mirror, so that every day, when they looked in the mirror, this would be the description of their reflection. Yet in a society that is obsessed with beauty, success and diets, it is sometimes so easy to listen to the voice of our insecurities, rather than hear the true voice of God.
Growing up I struggled with insecurity. Obsessed with body image, and the way I was seen by others, I constantly needed affirmation. Eventually, I became so obsessive that I began weighing myself every day, and would control my eating in an attempt to lose more and more weight. I struggled to escape my insecurities and I treated myself very badly. Thanks to God's grace, these feelings have begun to heal, along with my obsession over my weight and need to control my eating. Yet I have become more aware of how much I have allowed insecurities to control me. I realised how much I had been striving in my life to prove to myself and others that I had value. But as children of God, we have value because we belong to the Father. We were set apart even before we were born- "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5
I thought I'd share things I have found helpful in dealing with insecurity as a Christian:
It is ok to feel insecure. Everyone deals with insecurities
I have a very wise and wonderful friend who once said this:
"Everyone has insecurities. No one has it completely together. A strong, confident person is someone who accepts that."
No one is perfectly secure, and it shows maturity to admit your insecurities. Also, don't let yourself be defined by your insecurities. Just because you are insecure at times doesn't make you an 'insecure' person.
Lay your insecurities before the Lord
I do not feel that all my insecurities have gone in a flash, but I am learning to talk to God about them. You can offer them up to him, just like anything else in your life.
Ask the Lord to reveal how he sees you
It might seem odd, but after someone prayed this over me, I realised it's power. God is longing to reveal this to us, and the more you see yourself in God's eyes, the less you will be effected by the world's opinion of you.
Get in the habit of encouraging others around you.
Matthew Porter's sermon about humility taught us that, as Christians, we are called to put the needs of other's before our own. Insecurity occurs when we are too fixated on our own inadequacy. So, instead, look at how you can serve others through encouragement. Also, try not to compliment people only on the way they look, their intelligence or their overall popularity. This can be good, but try to emphasise their godly qualities.
I hope you have found this helpful. God bless x
Livvi Scales is a second year Literature student at York Uni. She has interest in puppetry, reading, and anything involving coffee.
This blog post has mostly been inspired by a talk entitled ‘Stay in Your Lane’ by Robert Madu at the HTB Leadership conference. It was a very challenging talk, but also spoke to a number of us who went so I really suggest you give it a listen.
It’s all around us, just a “natural” aspect of our life, and it’s relatively harmless right? I mean everyone does it, and unless you start being jealous of someone because of who they are, it’s not ungodly, or is it?
Whenever I used to receive marked work at Uni, my first response wasn’t to praise God for the mark, but to compare it against my friends. I’d judge myself academically against them, but that would also lead into comparing their lives against mine and then just comparing myself up against anyone. I’d question God why I wasn’t like X, or have Y’s character or look like Z. Suddenly, comparing myself against others wasn’t just a mental comparison between me and them, but me questioning, doubting God about who he made me to be.
Let's put this in prospective, this is the God who designed the Universe, and I’m trying to tell him that I think he made me wrong!?!
A lot of us are probably familiar with Psalm 139, but it’s good to read the words again.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
I love the line “Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” I find it really hits home for me. Why? Because God designed us to be exactly how we are. There are no mistakes, no missing pieces. Yes we can and should grow in character and spiritual giftings, but God designed you to be you so stop trying to be someone else.
You are God’s masterpiece, so stop complaining about the pieces you don’t have and praise him for who God has made you.
Jess Vaughan is a Student Forgee. She graduated from the University of York last summer
Having been raised a Christian, I’ve always had Jesus in my life in some way, shape or form. Before coming to uni, I was pretty disillusioned with the whole idea of church and had a very private view on my faith, but finding myself locked out of my room one Sunday led me to bumping into the Belfrey walking bus, and here I am getting baptised next week! Only over the last year or so, I’ve seen my faith grow from more than just something I keep for Sundays to a relationship made possible by Jesus’ saving grace, that is continuing to shape and change me.
Getting baptised has always been something I’ve wanted to do to affirm and welcome the Holy Spirit into my life, but I’d always come up with some excuse as to why I should put it off for another day. Recently, I came across this verse:
Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NCV)
This really drummed home that I should stop putting it off and get dunked! I’m so excited to be getting baptised next Sunday, and if you have been interested in doing so too, do chat to your Belfrey group leaders or Ben Doolan about joining me!
Sarah Wong is a first year student and is getting baptised on the 10th May.