the baby and the bathwater


insecurity
November 30, 2007, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

insecurity: lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt; subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured

The story goes like this.

Saul is King. David is the intern. David kills the giant. Then everyone likes David more than Saul. As they march back glowing with the success of victory, the Israelites chant ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands’. Saul doesn’t like it. And from that moment on he kept a jealous eye on David.

That was a defining moment in the life of Saul.

In that moment his insecurity got the better of him. In that moment his fate was sealed. In that moment he started down the road to destruction. Because insecurity isn’t a small character flaw that a person is OK indulging every now and then. Insecurity isn’t a small wound that causes a person the odd bit of discomfort.

Insecurity is a cancer that feeds on a persons obsession with self.

It kills.

Compare that with this.

David pursues Saul and enters into his camp. He gets into Saul’s tent whilst Saul sleeps. He had a moment where he could kill Saul and claim the crown. If ever there was a moment to make his mark, this was it. If ever there was a moment to remove this destructive force in his life, this was it. If ever there was a moment to guarantee his future prosperity, this was it.

But unlike Saul, David didn’t let his insecurity get the better of him. And in that moment his fate was sealed. In that moment he started down the road to success. Because his security in God gave him the strength of heart to focus on the kingdom of God rather than his own place of influence and power.

The secure person looks for signs of kingdom life but the insecure person looks for possibilities of personal profile. The secure person sees a church growing and lives being changed but the insecure person sees opportunities for extending influence. The secure person lives in the tension of the ‘now and the not yet’ of life but the insecure person sees every box left ‘un-ticked’ in their portfolio as a challenge to their self worth.

However, if insecurity is a cancer that feeds on a persons obsession with self, then security is the mark of a person’s obsession with God.

If I am obsessed with God I will make decisions that shine light on Him, not me. If I am obsessed with God I will find places of hidden-ness to serve Him, not just places of profile to serve Him. If I am obsessed with God I will rejoice in seeing those around me succeed and fly in their ministry, and not be afraid to take a back seat. If I am obsessed with God I will take the route of faith rather than the route of celebrity.

And if I am obsessed with God I will realise just how big He is, and just how small I am, and be satisfied with both.

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4 Comments so far
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Neil – Interesting choice of biblical character…a man fully ‘obsessed’ with God and secure in him…

…and yet…the psalms…the anguish…Bathsheba…

A real person with real struggles who ultimately still finds his security in God.

An encouragement to those of us that fall, fail and look to God for forgiveness.

Comment by Andy

Neil – Thank you for this. I love the idea of being obsessed with God rather than with self.

Andy – The psalms and the Bathsheba story are another part of the same contrast between Saul and David.

Compare this (from 1 Sam 15):
“Saul replied [to Samuel], “I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.”

… with this (from David in Ps 51):
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight … Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow … Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

We all fall and fail sometimes. The question is what do we do next? Look to God for forgiveness and for His power to be different on the inside, or seek to regain our position of influence?

Ruth

Comment by Ruth

@Ruth – Absolutely, give me the David approach any day!!!

Comment by Andy

andy and ruth…once again some insightful comment!

Unfortunately for David, his life – successes and failures – are recorded for us all to see. (If my life was subject to the same scrutiny then i don’t think it would be very pretty) Fortunately for us it means we can look at his life and pick and chose the bits that we want to embrace and the bits we want to avoid. Hopefully for our benefit.

But even with david’s obvious and very well documented failures (and let’s face it, after the roof incident things were never quite the same) his heart for god shone through. saul was very different – as ruth you point out (another great example which i will unashamadly nick and use sometime!)

The reason i wanted to talk about insecurity is that i come across it so often in christian leadership, and especially in worship leaders!!

Comment by Neil Bennetts




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