This part 2 of the Big Chop Series. Check out Part 1 here!
More and more people are deciding to pull the plug on their cable subscription. Most of my friends don’t even have cable anymore but that doesn’t stop them from watching their favorite shows. With the advent of live streaming and Netflix, people like me have figured out that all you need is a cable connection to watch all of your favorite shows. Even though people might be pulling the plug on their cable, they are not pulling the plug on their favorite shows. From Orange is the New Black to Game of Thrones to Power, and Empire, these shows have become household favorites and have garnered scores of fans and faithful watchers. One show that has been incredibly successful is Issa Rae’s “Insecure.”
I’ll admit that I’m not the most knowledgeable of this show, but I have plenty of friends who are. On a long car ride, I asked a friend why the show is named “Insecure” versus some other name. What about being insecure is this show was dealing with? Without revealing any spoilers (some of y’all got on me about Greenleaf spoilers) – she explained to me that the show deals with the insecurities of the actors and how they respond to it. Insecurities that impact the way they operate and experience life. Insecurities about whether they are good enough at work, good enough in their relationships, whether their talents are good enough. My friend Angela summarized it this way, “In some form or another their insecurity of not being good enough affects their lives and how they relate to everyone and everything around them.”
After hearing all of this a light bulb went off in my head. The reason I believe this show is so popular amongst my age group is that in some way or another we see ourselves in the characters. We see ourselves in their insecurities. We see ourselves in their doubts. We see ourselves in their feelings of being less than. They’re insecure. And so are many of us.
Although I haven’t finished the show, I know all about insecurity in my own personal life.
Insecurity has kept me from doing, saying, and being all that I’m supposed to be. Insecurity, for a long time, was my personal prison. My insecurities for a few years even kept me from starting this blog.
Earlier this summer, I decided that I no longer wanted to live like this anymore. I no longer wanted to live under the pressure of measuring up to the opinions of others. I no longer wanted to live for the approval of others and die by their criticism. I was tired of basing my self-worth on my latest successes and/or failures.
All of us struggle with insecurities in some way. What I’m insecure about may not be what you’re insecure about. But many of us have an insecurity that if not addressed and cut off, can wreak havoc in our careers, relationships, and even our spirituality. Insecurity is the first thing we must address as we perform the Big Chop.
1. Identity: Know Who You Are
After Jesus had just been baptized the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness for 40 days of testing. And while he was there without food or water, Satan shows up. It was Satan’s goal to get Jesus to sin and lose trust in his Father. What I find interesting is that Satan decides to attack his identity.
“IF you are the Son of God”
Did you catch that “IF”? He is trying to cast doubt on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. Because the enemy knows that if you don’t know who you are, then you’re able to fall for misguided suggestions masked as wise advice. You’re more susceptible to the labels and opinions that others put on you.
If you don’t know who you are, there’s always someone waiting to tell you who you are.
It’s super important for all of us to have a firm grip on our identity, who we are, because everything we do flows from our identity.
For many of us, we base our identity on our jobs, our relationships, our successes, our failures, our popularity, our possessions, or even in our gifting. But our identity is not and cannot be found in any of those things. The problem with basing your identity on these things is that they all are ever changing. Our relationship status may change after a breakup. We may lose our corporate job. We may have a fall from fame.
Instead of worrying about what other people may or may not say about me, I’ve decided to base my identity on what God says about me. God’s thoughts about me must be more important than the opinions of people who barely know me. If we base our identity on things that are always changing seasonally we’ll constantly find ourselves chasing the wind. The approval, the affirmation we all yearn for can be found in Him. His voice is the one voice that matters. What God thinks about you, what God says about you, what God wants for you never changes. God never changes even though everything else might.
Which brings me to my next point.
2. Insecurities Are Based On Lies
Not having a firm grasp on our identity leaves us vulnerable to lies. Whether they are lies others have told us, or lies we tell ourselves- whatever you believe will become how you live.
The lies you believe will become the reality you live in.
When we believe lies about ourselves we forfeit our God-given identity.
For someone like me, I’m constantly in my head with a thousand thoughts just racing through my mind. And what I’ve discovered about myself is that I engage in negative thinking often. At first, I tried to just ignore the thoughts. Push them aside but that didn’t work because I did not replace them with anything so those same lies would come again accompanied by new ones. So what I’ve been practicing lately is not ignoring the lies. But to replace those lies about myself with the truth of What God says about me.
I have a whiteboard in my room where I write down all of the lies I believe about myself. Right next to the lie I wrote a promise from God found in scripture that addresses that insecurity.
For example, one of my insecurities is that I don’t think I’m a good public speaker. This insecurity always comes up when I’m asked to give a presentation at work or speak at a church event. If I let that insecurity dominate my thoughts, I lose confidence and will operate as if I’m not a good speaker. With years of that insecurity dragging me down I knew I had to cut it. I decided to replace that lie in my head with a truth from God’s word. On my whiteboard, I wrote down a promise (that I googled) found in Exodus 4:11-12.
“God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”
Every morning or especially when I’m feeling insecure or doubtful, I read those verses out loud to myself.
I have one friend who has filled her apartment with pictures of biblical promises that affirm and encourage her. I’ve seen someone else attack her insecurities by putting a new bible verse on her bathroom mirror on a sticky note and read it before she starts her day.
The major key is that you are replacing the lies with the truth of God’s word.
Do what works for you but ask yourself the question: what are you listening to?
What conversations are you having?
What is the ratio of positive vs negative thinking you engage in?
Lies will always steal your real identity. Replace the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s word.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Big Chop Series. Learn what you need to cut out of your life, to make room for the growth and life God wants to give you.
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