RECOGNIZING INSECURITY IN YOUR BEHAVIOR…
Frankly, personal insecurity is fairly easy to spot in our behaviors. As pastors, we often fail to see it merely because we prefer to ignore it or don’t believe we can afford to focus on our needs with the responsibility we carry to address the needs of so many others. We can find ourselves pretending such insecurity isn’t there by defending ourselves or diverting the focus onto something else.
But we need help too. And the first step is to recognize when our insecurities are showing.
Over the next few blogs, we’ll look at seven evidences of insecurity and what they look like when they show up in a pastor’s responses. Note that while we want to overcome each of these expressions, they are only symptoms of the deeper issue—insecurity. If we can tackle the real issue, these symptoms will likely diminish significantly.
- COMPARISON You begin to compare yourself to others and score yourself against their achievements.
When we feel insecure, we can find ourselves expressing those feelings by comparing ourselves with others. When you hear of something great that happened at another church, does it spark thoughts of “Why doesn’t that happen at my church?” Do we have difficulty celebrating the victories others experience because they seem to highlight our weaknesses or inability to see the same results?
In John 21, Jesus told Peter about his own future death, and Peter’s first reaction was to point at John and ask, “What about him?” Of course, John’s future wasn’t relevant to the conversation, but we see Peter’s insecurity in his response to Jesus.
Danger: You ignore the unique role you and others are to play on the team.
Example: Matthew 20 (The Vineyard Workers)
- You find yourself ignoring God’s grace to you, being preoccupied with the status of others.
- You might grumble and complain about perceived inequities.
- You may judge others as less worthy of blessing than you.
- You can lose your sense of worth or purpose, feeling that you deserve better.
- You might be forgetting that ALL reward and blessing is due to the grace of God.
What does the scripture say about this issue?
“Peter, therefore, seeing John said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him: ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me.’” (John 21:21-22)
The point here is that when we are reacting in these ways, we are revealing our insecurities. We are demonstrating that we feel inadequate or are in need of affirmation. When we cannot rejoice for others, but immediately see our failures in their successes, we are on the road to defeat.
Have you succumbed to such comparison? Welcome to the club. Remember that pastors are people too. There are solutions (and we’ll get to them once we get all the issues on the table), but if you’ve felt this tendency to compare yourself unfavorably to the successes of others, know that such feelings aren’t likely based in fact and surely aren’t a reflection of God’s view of your life and ministry.