For nearly three months, we have been exploring the moments in ministry life when a pastor can be overcome by his own insecurities. I hope by now any resistance to such reality has been conquered by the awareness that every single one of us battle moments of emotional weakness. While God does equip us supernaturally by His Spirit, we remain subject to our humanity too.
For a few weeks, we considered what such insecurities often look like in the life of a pastor. Then we discussed those moments when insecurities are most likely to rise up within us. Finally, we considered a three-step process for managing such moments and a few general thoughts for guarding ourselves against such self-sabotage.
Before we conclude this series, let’s take a look at four scriptural ideas that can begin to help you build a new foundation for your thoughts about yourself. These concepts can sow some better seeds from which you can find a new harvest of healthy thinking, and lessen the likelihood that personal insecurity will bring future damage to your ministry efforts and decision making.
KEYS TO PERSONAL SECURITY – 1
You must tie your self-worth to your identity in Christ, not people and performance.
The Creator of the Universe has a few ideas about you. He knows you better than anyone else—your strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures—and has given you a value that’s not tied to any of them. That’s right! Your value, in His eyes, is based solely on the fact that you are His possession. No performance necessary!!
I’ve often thought of this truth through the metaphor of a painting. Imagine finding one under your basement stairs. How would you determine the value of your new treasure? Would you have the paint quality evaluated, trying to learn if the painter had used high quality pigments or those you can get from a kindergartner’s paint set? Probably not. Paint quality isn’t a bad thing to consider, but it’s hardly where a painting’s true value os found.
Would you consider the cost of the frame? Surely someone wouldn’t put an expensive painting in a cheap frame, but even this isn’t your best approach to deciding a painting’s value.
No, even those of us who aren’t art experts know that the way to determine a painting’s value is to look for the artist’s signature. If your painting is signed by your Uncle Bob, you might guess that it’s the product of the art classes he took in the late 70s. The piece of art would then be a nice family memory, but probably not something others would pay big bucks to own. So call Aunt Mabel and tell her what you found—you’ll probably make her day.
But if the painting’s signature seems to read Rembrandt, Van Gogh, or one of the other names you sort of remember from that Art Appreciation class you took in college, well, now you’ve got something! The value of your painting is completely revealed in the identity of its Creator.
And the same is true in your life. Your value isn’t tied to your performance. You are eternally loved because of who you are, and I’m guessing the artist is reasonably proud of His work. As some toothless character once said, “God don’t make no junk!” He really doesn’t.
So if you want to build your sense of self-worth on a sure foundation, start scanning the Scriptures to listen to your Artist’s words about His own work. You’ll quickly find that though He knows your inadequacies, He is more excited by your possibilities. He loves you, and in the end, His opinion alone will matter.