One of the most telling signs of how secure you really are is your willingness to celebrate someone else’s success. It takes a profoundly secure person to do it – especially when they’re doing better than you!
Developing a strong sense of security in our lives is vital. The danger of allowing insecurity to grow is that it can lead to dangerous and damaging places. Good people overcome by insecurity become jealous, envious, prideful, unhealthily competitive, personally ambitious, selfish, distrustful, suspicious, gossipy, bitter, distracted and depressed….all because of the overarching menace of insecurity.
The desire for recognition can become the obsession of an insecure heart. Insecurity roots it’s fulfilment in the flawed foundations of position, title & recognition. However, as ‘high’ as the high’s of these things might be, they don’t compare to the low’s that an insecure heart feels when these faulty foundations are challenged & exposed for what they are.
A few years ago, I spent time with a man who’d rooted his whole identity in his ‘successful career’. He was well known as the successful businessman in his community. However after things went terribly wrong in the company, he was fired from his job. This normally positive and jovial person was reduced to a broken man, humiliated and inconsolable. It was a tragic sight to see. He felt so low he couldn’t even see the point in living any more. He’d rooted his security in what he did instead of who God had made him to be.
Suddenly, the paradox of Jesus message makes a lot of sense: ‘Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it’ (Luke 17:33).
Nothing in this world is worth rooting your security in. Everything is temporary. It’s our relationship with Christ that really matters. That’s the key to our confidence. It’s not to say there won’t be moments of doubt and wobbles of faith. However until we come to the revelation that our fulfilment ultimately rests in Christ alone, the old menace of insecurity will lurk and prowl, looking to embed itself deep inside our fears and worries.
In the story of the prodigal son, the older brother couldn’t bring himself to celebrate the grace of the Father toward his younger brother when he returned. In a sense, he was just as much a prodigal son as the younger brother. He’d rooted his security in his role in the Father’s house but not in his relationship with the Father. He’d lost his appreciation for the Father’s grace so much that he became insecure when someone else experienced that very same grace. He was jealous of the recognition that his younger brother received and couldn’t bring himself to celebrate it. How sad. This is what happens in insecure hearts. When we root our security in role instead of relationship, it’s never healthy.
The most liberating truth in the world is to know you are loved by God. There is nothing we can prove to him – nothing. Pressure’s off. God has created a genius in you that he wants you to discover. But this flows from relationship. It’s this revelation that changes everything and where our security needs to be firmly rooted.