If I am honest, insecurity is my biggest struggle. I feel unqualified to live the life I lead. I am always so concerned about what others think of me that at times it has been absolutely debilitating. For example, my fears of failure and of conflict all stem from this unquenchable desire to be liked and for people to think highly of me. My insecurities are so bad, in fact, that when someone says something kind, I have a hard time accepting it or even believing that is how they truly feel about me.
At times, in the middle of a conversation, I get this fear of what the other person is thinking of me that creeps in. Once I finish my statement and they start to talk, I am not able to pay attention to them. The fear that is screaming in my head is so much louder than they.
At times I feel unqualified to be a dad. Not having my dad around to teach me what fatherhood looks like feels like I’m starting from behind. If I just had a dad around like other men do, I’d be better at caring for, disciplining, and guiding my kids.
Fear is a liar. It will tell you your greatest fears are your reality. The thing about lies is if we tell them to ourselves long enough, we’ll start to believe them as truth.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NLT) Some translations say “and of self-discipline.” Either way, I think it has to do a lot with how we think of ourselves. No matter how much I quote this scripture to myself or tell myself, “It’s not about what others think, just about what God thinks,” I still struggle to be content with myself.
I struggle with the feelings of inadequacy, like I don’t measure up to everyone around me. Even at 37, I still feel like the “little kid” in the room. You know that feeling you get that no one respects you because you are the youngest one in the room?
I always tell people to trust in God, but I fail to tell them it’s hard even for me to do so. It’s difficult to trust in God when we know all of our weaknesses and our failures. How could God not hold those things against us and demand something greater from us.
This is what happens when we rely on our understanding of who we are and how God operates. When trust is a weakness of ours then it is astronomically harder to trust that God will pull you through.
I believe that is exactly where God wants us and why He gave us 2 Corinthians 12:9, “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Did you catch what Paul is saying here? God’s power works best in our weakness. What Paul is saying is because of our relationship with God, our weakness is not a weakness at all but a strength. Why, because Jesus is made strong in our weakness. So even when we struggle to trust, we can rely on Jesus to help us trust. All of our insecurities and inadequacies are a part of who we are and are no longer weaknesses. Now they can be avenues to which God brings our greatest victories.
What I’ve come to realize is God is strong in our weakness, and God’s weakness is stronger than our strength. Therefore, my weakness, when submitted to God, is no longer a weakness, but a strength. Let that one soak in. If God is strong in my weakness, my weakness then ultimately becomes my strength.
As a father, my strength comes from learning what not to do. I know the things I wish I had and I use those as my guides to make a better life for my kids. It’s a weakness, but with Jesus’ help it’s become a strength.
In the book Unqualified, Steven Furtick points out that it wasn’t until Jacob accepted who he was that he received the blessing God had for him. God wants to bless you. The real you. Not the fake you that you show everyone else or the future you that you hope to be one day.
You are important to God.
Inadequacies and all.
I no longer have to worry about my inadequacies and fears, because I know that even in my lack, Jesus is made strong in my weakness.
Fear is a liar, but Jesus is the Liar-Slayer and Truth Teller.