Have you ever noticed that the group of people who talk about struggling with pride and the people who struggle with insecurity seem to be complete opposites? This has shocked me for years because I have found myself smack dab in the middle, struggling with both. For years, I was thoroughly perplexed because these issues seemed like they couldn’t coexist in the same person.
But then my perspective shifted.
Pride: “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”
Insecurity: “lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt”
Thank you, Dictionary.com!
These two definitions are quite opposite but they have one major thing in common: they value the same thing.
Both pride and insecurity value their own opinion over all else.
Pride says “I’m the best no matter what you say or think.”
Insecurity says “I’m the worst no matter what you say or think.”
And for years, I oscillated between the two. No matter what anyone said to me about me, whether compliments or otherwise, I trusted my opinion over everything else. When I thought the worst about myself, my character, and my physical image, there wasn’t any way of convincing me that I have some good qualities. When I thought more of myself than I should, especially about my skills and my work, and someone tried to point out a flaw or an improvement, I would bristle against them and hold my ground. I thought I was always right.
I think that’s why it’s so important to know exactly what God says about us: the lies of pride and insecurity can be so loud and so convincing that we can begin, over time, to believe them. We can hold the opinion that we’re better than we are and that we don’t need God’s grace. Or we can believe that our sin is so weighty that even he can’t handle it. But those opinions and lies aren’t true.
Who do you believe you are?
And do you trust God’s opinions about you?
A lot of the time, I struggle to take God at his word for myself. I have no trouble believing that God loves and has saved others, but it’s much harder for me to believe this for me. I can trust that others are children of God, but living as his daughter is difficult. I can preach freedom all day long but living it out is a whole other story.
Though I am, most definitely, a work in progress, I am learning to walk in humility—in my God-given space to fill—instead of falling into pride or insecurity. I am accepting what God says about me more and trusting his voice above my own. The truth is, I am not the best and I’m not the worst, I am fully loved by God and he is fully pleased with me.