Last week I stumbled across this video and fell in love with spirited, young Jessica who is an excellent self pep-talk giver.
Sometimes a gal needs a little pep talk, because we slide so easily into insecurity and self-condemnation. We get self-concious about our house, our shoes, or our hair. And we get so tired of feeling less-than over such things.
Truth be told, we long to be great. Jessica gets that. Jesus gets that too. But as I discussed last night at Port City Community Church's Radiant event, Jesus defines greatness a little differently than we tend to. Jesus essentially tells us - in Mark 10:35-44, Mark 9:33-35, and Matthew 20:20-28 - that if you want to be great, serve.
Serve God and the needs of others. Rather than serving our self and the opinions of others. For the first results in greatness in the eyes of God, and brings spiritual rewards. The latter results in insecurity (public opinion is a fickle master!) and brings regrets.
I don't think Jesus minds if we want to wear cute shoes or color our hair, or clean up the house before company's arrival. This is more of an allegiance thing. Who is on the throne in the seat of your soul? Is it us, is it our company, or is it God?
Last night I shared a list of four things that helps me to keep God on that throne in my heart, and keep insecurity at bay.
1) Soak up Scripture. Soak it up like your life depends on it ... because our self-assurance, our ability to obey God, and our eternal reward often does. When I'm soaked full of scripture, I'm less swayed by superficial, temporary things. In soaking up eternal truths, my faith grows larger than my insecurities.
2) Reach out to those in need. When I encounter people who are truly suffering in this world, fine lines, a dent in my car, that new recliner I want, or the fact that I frequently forget to return library books on time just doesn't matter much. When Jesus and others' needs come to the forefront, I gain needed perspective. Serving does a world of good, for all involved.
3) Understand who you are as made by God. Knowing how God made me helps me understand what He's designed me to do and what He probably hasn't designed me to do. Unlike Jessica, I know I can't do everything good. I wasn't made to. I'm not gifted for everything. This realization helps keep me from spinning my wheels, and from feeling like a failure at life. But in Christ I can do all that I'm made and called to do.
Take some personality inventories and spiritual gifts questionnaires. Ask God to reveal His designs for you. And don't put unrealistic pressure on yourself to do everything well - that describes God alone.
4) Ask, "Will this matter later?" This one question frequently pulls me out of an insecurity tailspin. When you find yourself obsessively worrying over something, ask yourself: Will this matter much to me a year from now? Will anyone else even remember this a year from now? And will this matter eternally - does it matter to God? Often the answer is "no," and then I can relax.
I heard we had something close to 900 women there last night, and a whole slew of them afterward told me this was a topic they could relate to. That's because the longing to be great in some significant way is universal. Jesus doesn't condemn that desire, He just redirects it for us so that we'll know how to truly become great. And in the process, He lovingly rescues us from the tyranny of insecurity.