How my Pride Led to Insecurity

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As a Corporate Communications undergraduate major, I gave a ton of speeches back in college and naturally grew tired of a once intimidating task. On one occasion I gave a better speech than usual and upon leaving class two classmates ran up to me and asked, “How were you so confident?” I don’t remember what I answered but the truth was that the secret to my perceived confidence was that I didn’t care about the opinions of anyone in that class I gave a speech to. In a college of 17,000 people, it was easy to be in a class with a bunch of people I never met before and I didn’t care for the opinions of people I didn’t know.

I began to adopt an odd pattern of feeling a sense of pride around people I grew comfortable around or who I felt better than or didn’t care for because I didn’t know them. That is until one day I realized how my pride was the seed from which fruits of my insecurity sprout. But luckily, in learning this lesson, I was also presented with the incredible hope that comes from understanding that humbleness can lead to a God centered sense of security in who God created us to be.

These realizations around my pride all started two weeks ago after  I taught my sunday school students a lesson on a pride- pretty logical progression, right? We explored how pride distorts things meant to be good.

Beauty can become vanity.

Instead of feeling joy in the accomplishments of others, we wonder why we didn’t get what they have.

When criticized, we are defensive, never assessing the validity of the others claim.

I taught that lesson and admitted to my students that I failed “The Pride Test”. I looked at myself with a sudden awareness of how Pride was ruining what was meant to be good in my life. I realized that Pride had led to my feelings of insecurity.

The lies of Pride become smaller next to God

I became prideful in small ways, in comfortable circumstances. My mom would always joke about my cavalier attitude around family members and my church family. I would take up as much space as I liked and probably said some things I shouldn’t have without thinking much about it. I felt confident of myself because I saw others as less. That person doesn’t have a job, at least I have one. I could only feel secure if I could imagine myself as better than someone else. I hate that I thought that. I hate that I’m writing this paragraph and that I’m admitting something so disgusting about myself. I feel ashamed to admit that I treated others so poorly and in turn hurt myself.

How would God look at my heart? I think he must have felt so disappointed. This is the same God who came to earth and didn’t look for any of the things we look for in others. Does the bible talk about how he chose a disciple because of his PhD from an Ivy league? Did he befriend the stylish woman at the well? Sure the bible will give merit to beauty and wisdom, but those factors never stopped God from loving or helping someone. God chose the lowly and despised of the world to shame the wise.

One lesson I taught my students and continually remind myself to remember is that we can begin to feel humble when we remind ourselves of how great our God is. You’re proud of your beauty or intellect? Have you heard of the almighty God? He’s so majestic and beautiful that our eyes cannot even see him and live. When we change our perspective to see ourselves in light of who God is, how can we not be humbled?

How Pride breeds insecurity

In the same way that I would feel better than certain people, I felt worse than others. Pride lied to me and told me that because of my looks or education or my background, I was inherently worth less than someone else. Seeing the success of others made me fear failure.

Did I deserve to work at my job? Was I worthy to be that person’s friend? All of the things I built my worth on crumpled because my pride was built on such an insecure foundation.

 

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Without Pride, we see ourselves and others and God intended

God offers us a unique freedom and privilege to gracefully accept our limits as humans. We are beautiful but not the most beautiful. We are given wisdom, but only because God allows it. We may have accomplished a lot by worldly standards, but how small are our feats in light of eternity? How different would our lives be in a different place or circumstance?

Just as pride brings forth fruits of insecurity, I believe that humbleness can lead to fruits of security in who we are and who it is that God longs for us to be.

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The Secret to Confidence: Know Your Worth

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Low self-esteem is easier to find than dirt on the subway as insecurity devours our culture, stripping away more than we possibly realize.  Once we forget who we are, we settle for less, we walk hunched over.  Confidence is an afterthought when survival is what we grasp for.  The problem begins because we do not know our worth. 

1.  How much are you worth?

I spoke with someone once about this, I believe it was my brother.  He calculated his worth and pointed out that some people are worth more than others.  How then do you determine yours?

I started a new tradition where I collect all my coins and turn it in at my local bank on my birthday and after Christmas.  It’s my surprise birthday/Christmas gift to myself.  Plus, if I ever find myself really strapped for cash (and assuming I haven’t recently done this) I can cash in my change.

My bank allows me to guess how much money I’ve collected.  I thought I didn’t collect much, it didn’t even really fill the jar.  I guessed $30 thinking I was being too optimistic.  I was wrong, I had collected $60 without realizing it.  I dramatically undervalued how much I saved.

I felt God pleading with me recently reminding me that I am worth so much more than I realize.

2.  Don’t use the wrong formula.  

It’s so easy to forget our worth, isn’t it?  There are all those markers that seem to define us. But, who are you beyond your job, your looks, your Facebook profile or your grades?

So many times I fear that I, as well as many people I love, do the same.  We don’t understand our worth.  We are jars of coins trying to be sold to the highest bidder, never taking the time to count what’s actually inside.

I began a new yearly bible plan, click here for a link.  When reading over Genesis I was reminded of something beautiful.  Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

How remarkable is this?  And really think about this- you are created in the image of the most beautiful God.  How much are you undervaluing yourself?

Thinking back to my conversation with my brother, I may be worth nothing “technically”, but no price can actually be put on your life.  You may try, but no one can ever measure the way you love, no one can ever measure the lengths those who care for you will go.  These barometers forget that because of God, our worth breaks any scale man can make regardless of who you are and what the world thinks of you.

3.  Turn to God

I remember loving myself growing up, maybe a little too much.  I rarely even thought about how I looked like but knew I was special, I knew I had importance.  Then puberty hit and a wave of insecurity came along with it.  I questioned everything I once knew for a fact.  Was I ugly?  Why did others do better than me in school?  Did I really have friends?  I didn’t know it at the time but these were whispers of deceit from the enemy that would tear me down- but not completely.

I wish I could say that at the age of 21 that I am immune to insecurity, that I’ve solved the problem of low self-esteem.  But I too need to stop myself from undervaluing my worth.

The difference now is that I know the truth: that I am worth more than I can possibly comprehend.

Why else would God of the universe send His Son to earth to die for me? Am I worth the life of someone so perfect, so holy….to take the place of my wretchedness, my sin, my deceit, my shame…?

I am worth it. YOU are worth it. You have value much more than you know, so much that He laid his life down for you. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13 NIV

So next time when you’re feeling down about yourself, remember that the Creator made you in His image, His beautiful and perfect image, and that your life is worth the price of His Son.

4. The Challenge 

Today I challenge you to look at yourself and let God speak. Look deeply into your heart and hear what God says.  He crafted you, he is molding you as his perfect creation.  Comment below when you do this about how God is speaking to you.

The secret to confidence is knowing your worth.  

If you see yourself through the eyes of the Father, you can be confident in the knowledge that He created you for a purpose, you are beautiful and loved, and you have worth.

Written by Nina Thomas, Edited by Shannon Mathew