Crazy Things Insecure People Do

discipleship steve norris May 30, 2022
Crazy Things Insecure People Do | Dr. Steve Norris

Why are people insecure? I have concluded that the answer usually finds its roots in lack of confidence and low self-esteem through the years. A childhood experience, a dysfunctional home, and the list can explain why people struggle with insecurity. The issue is that many carry this emotional baggage into adulthood. It continues to have a negative impact on the individual and the relationships in their immediate vicinity.  Most of the time, they aren't even aware of it. But it will have an impact on a leader's effectiveness in ministry.

Through the years, I have seen great leaders who were secure. Observing previous leaders, I've seen how their ability to lead effectively was affected by their own deep-seated fears. Okay, let’s be honest. We all have voices of insecurity coming from within. Do you recognize it and learn with God’s grace how to move past how those voices, or do you let them affect you? It is a life-long journey. 

I love the scene in the movie, Beautiful Mind, which stars Russell Crowe portraying Dr. John Nash. Dr. Nash dealt with many destructive voices that seemed so real and natural. He tried everything to get relief. But the voices, played out by three imaginary friends from his past, continued to haunt him. At the end of the movie, Dr. Nash walked with his long-time close friend, Dr. Hansen, who asked him if the voices had finally gone away. Dr. Nash looked over at the three imaginary friends walking a distance behind him. He paused, then responded, “No, the voices are still there. I just choose not to listen to them.”  

An Insecure Person:  

  • Doesn’t take the time to listen
  • Tries to control his or her surroundings
  • Can’t be honest with himself/herself or others
  • Always has to win
  • Is not able to learn from different people
  • Blames everybody else for their problems
  • Talks more about themselves
  • Isn’t able to take audacious risks
  • And the list can go on 

Why Is It Crazy? 

Because it affects someone’s leadership effectiveness without them even knowing it. Insecure leaders do damage to those around them, and it doesn’t need to happen. It’s crazy. At times I have thought if the leader would only let go of his or her insecurity and embrace the unconditional love of God, imagine what God could do through them. 

Now the opposite of insecurity is security. I told you I was a prophet of the obvious. Secure people have a balanced view of themselves. Yes, they recognize they aren’t perfect, but they move on. They learn from their mistakes. There is a confidence in who they are that drives them forward. They can be calm in the midst of the storm. They are friends when there is no one else around. They focus on others, not themselves. They make great leaders, but they are different from our cultural leaders. In his book, Failure of Nerve: Leadership in a Quick Fix Society, Edwin Friedman calls an effective leader a well-differentiated leader. The Apostle Paul calls the leader spiritually mature. 

The negative voices of insecurity don’t always go away. You can choose to listen to a new voice. The unique voice of the Gospel says you are special and need not be afraid. 

A Secure Person:

  • Takes time to listen and learn from others
  • Leads people and movements but allows God and other people to influence the outcome
  • Will take the blame for failure and give praise to the team for successes 
  • Will work for others to win
  • Engages with the life stories of others
  • Loves to step out of the comfort zone
  • And the list can go on 

What does this have to do with disciple-making? Your goal is to launch a young disciple into his or her world, embracing the unconditional love of God so that he or she lives a life for God and others. An insecure person can’t make the jump from self-centered to selfless living. 

How Do You Instill the Unconditional Love of God in Disciple-Making? 

  1. Teach it. 
  2. Live it. 
  3. Expose and run from legalism. 
  4. Mentor others how to live unconditional love in every aspect of life. It’s easy to talk about it. It’s another story to live it out. 
  5. Hang around with others who live the unconditional love of God. 
  6. Be mutually accountable for choosing to lay aside the negative voices.

Thomas Edison’s Mom

Edison was a poor student. When a schoolmaster called Edison “addled,” his furious mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home. Edison said many years later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint.” 

I know what you are thinking. What does “addled” mean? The basic definition is confusing and vague in the area of thinking. Muddleheaded is a label that comes from the term. So, it’s easy to say the schoolmaster was NOT paying Edison a compliment. 

Despite what the teacher said, his mom’s belief in him changed the impact on his life. The assurance of a loving, accepting, and encouraging relationship allowed Edison to do great things. She believed in him. 

It’s a great picture of a person coming to Christ. The world says you are worthless. But when you say YES to Jesus, you become a new family member. You are a new person, who is gifted, loved, and accepted. There is a further assurance when you come to Christ. He believes in you. 

What you can become and achieve is fantastic when someone believes in you. Religion is about working towards the approval of God and others. The motivation is fear. The goal is approval, and the soul is never at rest. Christianity is about living from a relationship of acceptance by God to love others. The motivation is appreciation. The goal is to serve, and the soul finds rest. 

Religion is a cage that holds you back. It’s easy in disciple-making to slip into a conditional acceptance approach. It gets quick results, but it is damaging to any Christ-follower in the long run. However, Christianity opens the cage to free you to become all God created you to be.

Begin to build a biblical foundation of discipleship in others as you teach, preach, and disciple. In your journey, change the world as you go out your door each day as a disciple-maker. Enroll in our Discipleship Certificate Course at Grace On Demand and learn to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, the greatest disciple-maker. 

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