Our society has groomed us, from an early age, to attach our self-worth to things, accomplishments, and appearances. Want to feel better about yourself? Perform better grades in school. Strive hard to be accepted into a sports team. Buy a new wardrobe so you can fit in with the trends. But what happens when we falter and feel as though we aren’t smart enough? Athletic enough? Attractive enough? Then our self-esteem crumbles, resulting in paralyzing insecurity that prevents us from seeing ourselves how God sees us. It prevents us from discovering our true potential. 

So as we navigate a culture that places a strong emphasis on both achievements and self, how are Christians supposed to handle these paralyzing insecurities? And what does the Bible say about insecurity? 

Where Does the Bible Talk About Insecurity?

We can find solutions on how to tackle insecurity by searching God’s Word. If we hope to get to the root of insecurity—which can be caused by attaching our self-worth and identity to the things of this world—then we first need to know the truth about our identity as a child of God. That way, our self-worth can be grounded in truth rather than in the enemy’s lies. 

First, we know that we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Those in Christ are no longer defined by our past since we are now a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Furthermore, the Bible tells us that we are:

Although the Bible does not use the word “insecurity,” we do know that insecurity was never God’s will for His children. When we are insecure, this means we have placed too much authority and emphasis on our appearance, our financial status, our education, and even ourselves in general. However, God has called us to look to Him alone for our source of security. Everything in this world is temporary and in a constant state of motion; God and His Word are unchanging (1 Peter 1:23,25). And although we live in a physical world, we are reminded, in Ephesians 6:12, that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” 

Christ paid a tremendous price to purchase our salvation, yes—but also to break us free from our bondage. And I believe insecurity is a form of this. John 8:36 reminds us that “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” It is Satan who comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10)—including our self-confidence. 

What Does the Bible Say for People with Insecurity?

If insecurity is an issue resulting from placing too much emphasis on ourselves—our abilities (or lack thereof)—then that means it is an issue of the flesh. Scripture clearly defines how we are to handle flesh-related temptations. 

Let’s take a look at Romans 8:12-14:
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”

How can we do as this verse says and become led by the Spirit? We must do what God commanded us to do: love God and love others. 

“Jesus replied: ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)

You see, if we devote our efforts and attention to loving God and loving others, then the emphasis will be taken off of ourselves. We will become focused on what matters most—pleasing God rather than men and loving others rather than trying to make ourselves appear important, worthy, and valuable. 

After all, our heart is what will shine through into the lives of others, and it’s our heart that God sees when He looks at us. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”

What are Some Strategies for Handling Insecurity?

Of course, this is often easier said than done, right? We are human, after all. So when we come face-to-face with our flaws and weaknesses in the mirror—the ones that tempt us to hide in shame—how can we overcome this stronghold and move forward?

1. We can conquer insecurity the same way we do any temptation of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will not allow us to “be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

We don’t need to allow our temptation with insecurity to hold us back. We face no temptation that is too great to overcome through God’s strength. We need to look away from the source of our temptation and focus on God instead. 

When we feel like we lack, let’s learn to magnify all that He is. When we feel like we’re weak, let’s highlight His strength. When we feel unattractive, let’s emphasize His beauty, holiness, righteousness, and perfections. 

2. Return to the Scriptures that define our identity in Christ. In the end, our identity in Christ is where we find our true worth. 

If insecurity is a constant battle you face, I would advise speaking the Scripture out loud so that this truth can come out of your own mouth and sink even deeper into your heart. (This can especially be helpful if you are sometimes tempted to speak negatively about yourself!) 

I don’t believe God wants us to be held back by insecurity any longer. We are called to be “like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). If that’s the case, how can we possibly speak up to share the gospel if we don’t like the sound of our voice? How can we reach out to extend a helping hand if we’re too focused on how we look? And how are we going to use the gifts God has given us to glorify Him and bless others if we don’t believe we have what it takes?

3. Meditate on how God sees us. God views us through eyes of love. We are His children, after all! He designed every aspect of who we are with intention, and we are the perfect person to carry out the role He has created for us in the Body of Christ. (I dive deeper into this subject in my devotional for young women, Love Your Selfie.)  

So if you, like myself, have struggled with insecurity and feelings of unworthiness, then I challenge you to fall more in love with God. Find your security and attachment in Him rather than the things of this world. Learn how to define yourself by the Word rather than the world

And let’s not forget the wise reminder found in Proverbs 29:25: “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.”

We aren’t safe when we fear the opinion of men. We aren’t safe when we try to increase our worth and value by striving harder or looking more attractive. But we are safe when we trust that God alone keeps us secure.

So how can we overcome this paralyzing fear of men that can lead to insecurity? Simple: Let’s focus on pleasing God first and foremost. And we already know how to do that, right?

It begins by loving God and loving others. 

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/finwal

Tessa Emily HallTessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who wrote her debut novel when she was sixteen. She is now a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction inspirational yet authentic books for teens, including her latest release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (October 2020, Ellie Claire). Tessa's passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She is guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, teaching at writing conferences, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers is on her mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.