People rarely feel comfortable in their own skin. Many of us live with deep insecurities that we carefully mask with a public persona. The thought of letting people see our real self is scary because we are flawed. So fear holds us back. We post flattering pictures of ourselves on Facebook and carefully hide all the ugly parts of our appearance and personality.
Comparison is like an addiction. Once we start, we can't seem to stop. We feel insecure when our friends are prettier, more cultured, or have better jobs or marriages. We are confronted with images of models and movie stars, and we feel unworthy by comparison. We long for something to distinguish us, something to make us stand out, something to give us a sense that we are worth something.
A new year gives us a chance to start again. To be a better person than we were the year before. But it is no secret that most resolutions fail. Good intentions can't transform a frog into a prince. So our fresh hope crumbles before January is through.
But what if your resolution was to find contentment with who you are? What if you could uproot your insecurity and finally be free of it?
The Problem With Sin
Two sins are often at the root of insecurity:
- A desire for self-glorification
- Fear of people's opinions
It may surprise you to think that sin causes insecurity. But our longing for attention puts us in a vulnerable position. We want others to like and admire us. We want it so much that it begins to control us. And before we know it, our confidence is shredded by human opinion.
In our pursuit of self-glorification, we begin to fear people. We give them rights over us that they were never meant to have. When we define ourselves by the opinions of others, we act like a clown on a tightrope—forever in a balancing act with nothing solid to stand on.
But the Bible paints a very different picture of a healthy mindset. First Peter 5:6 encourages us to humble ourselves before God and trust Him to take care of us. Matthew 10:28 exposes the foolishness of fearing people more than God. A biblical mindset starkly contrasts the strivings of an insecure person. And as much as we would like to deny it, we give in to these sins far too often and destroy any hope of finding contentment.
A New Identity
Despite our sin, there is hope in Christ. The kingdom of God does not function like any human establishment. It operates upside down. You don't work your way to the top. You don't earn God's trust to get in the inner circle. Salvation is a free gift for sinners like you and me. All who look to Jesus in faith are welcomed in. This is incredibly good news for those of us who feel a keen sense of our inadequacy.
Jesus gives us a new identity when we put our trust in Him. He gives us his righteousness and takes our sin on himself—nailing it to the cross in a once-for-all sacrifice (2 Cor. 5:21, Col. 2:13-14, Heb. 10:10). He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He redeems our personhood for the sake of His glory.
Too often, the gospel rests lightly on us, never quite permeating the deep recesses of our heart. But when the reality begins to hold weight, a surprising thing happens. We realize there is nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Christ is worthy for us. And when we trust in Him, our worth is redefined.
If you are a Christian, the things in your life do not define you. Your marital status is not your life. Neither is your jean size, job or education. No, for the Christian, Jesus' worth defines your worth.
The secret of contentment is not found inside of you. It is found by looking outside yourself, to Jesus Christ, and letting him redefine you. So this new year, resolve to know Christ. Other good intentions may hog public limelight, but knowing Christ will change your life.
What keeps you from finding contentment?
Taken from Christel Humfrey's blog post "Resolving to Know Christ in the New Year." truewoman.com. Used with permission.
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