I was talking with a friend the other day who is a strong & competent leader. As we were chatting we laughed about the insecurity that often plagues people. In our 20's we attempt to overcome insecurity through education. Maybe, just maybe, if I get smarter and know more "stuff" then I won't feel insecure. Education is certainly needed and most appropriate, however, I have never known a "good education" to overcome insecurity. If anything, the awakened intellect and the widened horizons of understanding reinforce insecurity. I know that there are things I don't know and after a few years of academia I am most certain that there are things I don't know. So we move past our 20's and now let's move into our 30's. You start to settle down. Maybe you are married. Maybe you have kids. You are probably into the early stages of your career. For myself, as a husband of nearly 20 years and a father of 3, I am in touch with my insufficiencies and my faults. There are days when the reality of the 3 lives dependent on me, cause me to feel insecure about our choices, our financial stewardship, etc. I was confronted with raising teenagers. While being a youth pastor for years can help, the truth is, every Wednesday I sent kids home to their parents. In my 30's...they came home with me. Two of them.
Now I have moved out of my 30's and into my early 40's. The ambition that existed in my heart as a young "twentysomeone" has not waned. The insecurity of my 20's and 30's did not diminish my desire to live and love effectively. If the truth be told, ambition has not left, but it's twin cousin, Insecurity, has moved in and joined the family.
I have to come a place in my life where I do not think of insecurity as evil. Insecurity is common and natural. It's the fruit of a human soul living in a broken and fallen world. Adam and Eve felt secure in the Garden of Eden, in their nakedness, until that moment when they no longer managed their freedom with responsibility. They ate the forbidden fruit and thus introduced sin, disobedience, death and insecurity to humanity. So, I don't believe insecurity is bad, it's what you do with the insecurity that is troublesome.
Here's what I did. I attempted to cover my insecurity like Adam and Eve. On that day in the Garden of Eden the scriptures tell us that the two of them discovered their nakedness and covered themselves. The human story hasn't changed much. It may involve different characters, but the plot remains the same. I have tried covering my insecurity with bravado, isolation, ignorance, a quest for knowledge, arrogance, weakness, passing the buck and countless other ways. As a 41 year old man, child of God, husband, father, leader and friend I no longer try to cover my insecurity, instead I admit it openly before God and my peers. Then, I allow God to do for me what he did for Adam and Eve. He covers me. I am not sure he covers my insecurity, as much as he covers me with an identity from His heart that transforms how I think about myself and others. I believe He covers me with His grace, his enabling power to do extraordinary things and live the supernatural life. I believe He covers me with His kindness, which always leads me to a better way of thinking. I believe He covers me with His values and His priorities. I believe He covers me with a renewed relationship with Holy Spirit.
I believe ambition's twin brother is insecurity. Like the movie, The Man with the Iron Mask, you can not hide this evil brother in a prison somewhere. What you can do however, is with a humble and surrendered heart come to God. Let Him cover you with his love and then live your life as a person being transformed and changed by the love of God and his belief that you are worth putting on display before the world.