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Insecurity is a downward spiral. We either try to pretend we’re not insecure and puff ourselves up… and that doesn’t work. Or we hide in a corner and hope no one notices how insecure we are… and our insecurity grows.

Security comes only from God.

We need to deal with insecurity in our relationship with God, because insecurity can unravel your whole life.

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

Psalm 30: 6-7 (NIV)

The Bible is not rules how to live your life. God shows us who he is and how to have a relationship with him. Feeling guilty and seeing our mistakes isn’t the end goal. We see our sin so we can be in relationship with God.

The Bible shows us how much we need God and how to be in relationship with God. The right attitude: “God has my back. God is with me. I know Him. He knows me. I can be confident.”

The cross is God showing that he wants a relationship with us. This is God saying: “I know who you are, what you need, I want to use you to help other people.”

Who is God? Who am I? How can I be close to him? That is a relationship with God—that gives you confidence.

Insecurity: The Unraveling

Saul’s life unravels because of his insecurity. Which areas of insecurity do you relate to?

Saul hides when he has opportunity to lead

So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?”

And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”

1 Samuel 10:22

Have you ever been too insecure to step up and lead? That’s where Saul started…

Takes control of things not up to him

So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.

1 Samuel 13:9

Saul stepped beyond the boundaries God had given him.

Imposes a foolish rule on all fighters to motivate them

Now the men of Israel were pressed to exhaustion that day, because Saul had placed them under an oath, saying, “Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening—before I have full revenge on my enemies.” So no one ate anything all day,

1 Samuel 14:24

Lies about what he did because he’s afraid of public failure

When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!”

1 Samuel 15:13

Starts to view relationships as threats

So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

1 Samuel 18:9

Are there certain people you are avoiding? Competitive with?

Paranoia leads to him destroying his closest relationships

Then Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him. So at last Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David.

1 Samuel 20:33

Insecurity makes us burn bridges all around us.

Leaves God completely

Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

1 Samuel 28:7

Commits suicide

Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me.”

But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

1 Samuel 31:4

Insecurity completely unraveled Saul’s life.

Where are you at along the path of insecurity?

Confidence That Comes From God

“God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God is my strong fortress,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.

2 Samuel 22: 31-37

Read the prayers that David wrote to learn about his relationship with God.

v. 32 How did David have confidence? He believed God that was his shield, that God would protect him.

v.33 David believed that everything he went through was actually God training him. If something bad happens, you don’t need to panic because you can trust that God is training you and making you stronger. Are you fighting in your marriage? Struggling with a special needs diagnosis for your child? Every challenge is God training us.

v.36 God’s help is what makes us great… not our own effort. Do you want to be great? Then invest energy into your relationship with God! If you made a pie chart with all the energy you spend, how much would be effort in your relationship with God? Ask your spouse or roommate the amount of energy they see you put into God!

We need to have more conversations about our relationship with God. Collin Kapernick is a great QB, because he spends 90% of his conversations talking about football. How much are we talking about our relationship with God?

How To Turn Insecurity Into Confidence

1) Decide to Trust

  • Believe God is not done with me yet
  • Believe God can work through others

2) Build Intimacy

  • Heart honesty and openness with God
  • Heart honesty and openness with people
  • Talk about something that really scares you!

3) Take Risks

  • Take a chance with your heart
  • Do something that requires faith

How big of a factor is insecurity in your life? If we don’t take it on, it will unravel our life. If we take it on, we will build a relationship with God like David had and become strong.

Take a risk—choose to know God!

 

Strong: From Insecure to Confident

“A song of ascents. Of David. How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.”

(Psalms 133:0–3 NIV11)

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40:2

How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion.

Psalm 84:5-7 (TPT)

NEW, YORK – Ignorance is the root of all evil, according to Plato, who also famously gave us a still-current definition of its opposite: knowledge. For Plato, knowledge is “justified true belief.” That definition is worthy of consideration as we reflect on the perils of ignorance in the 21st century.

Plato thought that three conditions must be met in order for us to “know” something: the notion in question must actually be true; we must believe it (because if we do not believe something that is true, we can hardly claim that we know it); and, most subtly, it must be justifiable – there must be reasons why we believe the notion to be true.

Consider something that we all think we know: the Earth is (approximately) round. This is as true as astronomical facts get, particularly because we have sent artificial satellites into orbit and seen that our planet is indeed roundish. Most of us (except for a lunatic fringe of flat-earthers) also believe this to be the case.

What about the justification of that belief? How would you answer if someone asked you why you believe that the Earth is round?

The obvious place to begin would be to point to the aforementioned satellite images, but then our skeptical interlocutor could reasonably ask if you know how those images were obtained. Unless you are an expert on space engineering and imaging software, you may have some trouble at that point.

Socrates, Plato’s teacher, famously goaded the Athenian authorities by maintaining that he was wiser than the Oracle at Delphi, who claimed to be the wisest, because he, unlike most people (including the Athenian authorities), knew that he did not know anything.

Whether Socrates’ humility was sincere or a secret joke at the expense of the powers that be (before said powers put him to death after tiring of his irreverence), the point is that the beginning of wisdom lies in the recognition of how little we really know.

Which brings me to the paradox of ignorance in our era: on the one hand, we are constantly bombarded by expert opinion, by all sorts of people – with or without Ph.D. after their name – who tell us exactly what to think (though rarely why we should think it). On the other hand, most of us are woefully inadequate to practice the venerable and vital art of baloney detection (or, more politely, critical thinking), which is so necessary in modern society.

You can think of the paradox in another way: We live in an era when knowledge – in the sense of information – is constantly available in real time through computers, smart phones, electronic tablets, and book readers. And yet we still lack the basic skills of reflecting on such information, of sifting through the dirt to find the worthy nuggets. We are ignorant masses awash in information.

Of course, it may be that humanity has always been short on critical thinking. That’s why we keep allowing ourselves to be talked into supporting unjust wars (not to mention actually dying in them), or voting for people whose main job seems to be to amass as much wealth for the rich as they can get away with. It is also why so many people are duped by exceedingly costly sugar pills sold to them by homeopathic “doctors,” and why we follow the advice of celebrities (rather than real doctors) about whether to vaccinate our kids.

But the need for critical thinking has never been as pressing as in the Internet era. At least in developed countries – but increasingly in underdeveloped ones as well – the problem is no longer one of access to information, but of the lack of ability to process and make sense of that information.

Unfortunately, colleges, high schools, and even elementary schools are unlikely to mandate introductory courses in critical thinking on their own. Education has increasingly been transformed into a commodity system, in which the “customers” (formerly students) are kept happy with personalized curricula while being prepared for the job market (rather than being prepared to be responsible human beings and citizens).

This can and must change, but it requires a grass-roots movement that uses blogs, online magazines and newspapers, book clubs and meet-up clubs, and anything else that might work to promote educational opportunities to develop critical-thinking skills. After all, we do know that it is our future.

Massimo Pigliucci is a professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. © Project Syndicate/Institute for Human Sciences, 2011.

Critical thinking crucial in the information age

Blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Jesus: No one can serve two masters. If you try, you will wind up loving the first master and hating the second, or vice versa. People try to serve both God and money—but you can’t. You must choose one or the other.

Matthew 6:24 (VOICE)

I have pursued you, coming here in My Father’s name, and you have turned Me away. If someone else were to approach you with a different set of credentials, you would welcome him. 44 That’s why it is hard to see how true faith is even possible for you: you are consumed by the approval of other men, longing to look good in their eyes; and yet you disregard the approval of the one true God.

John 5:43-44The Voice (VOICE)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:4-6,8-9 NIV

Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow.  Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow. Stand up to him. Stand firm in what you believe. All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering.

– 1 Peter 5:8-9 NIRV

Satan loves to destroy – relationships. (With whoever), your victory lies in growing through your pain and challenges, leaning on God, and believing in prayer that everything works out for the “good of those who love Him.”

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son/daughter-ship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

– Romans 8:15-16

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

– Romans 8:1

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,  so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

– Romans 5:18

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

– Romans 5:6

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

– Romans 5:1-2

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”

– Isaiah 28:16

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD is the Rock eternal.

– Isaiah 26:3-4

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

– Isaiah 25:9

Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.  Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

– Isaiah 1:18

Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

– Ezekiel 36:25-27 NLT

If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

– Psalm 139:7-10 NLT

Even if darkness overtakes them,
sunrise-brilliance will come bursting through
because they are gracious to others, so tender and true.
Life is good for the one who is generous and charitable,
conducting affairs with honesty and truth.
Their circumstances will never shake them
and others will never forget their example.
They will not live in fear or dread of what may come,
for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith.
Steady and strong, they will not be afraid,
but will calmly face their every foe
until they all go down in defeat.
Never stingy and always generous to those in need,
their lives of influence and honor will never be forgotten,
for they were full of good deeds.

– Psalms 112:4-9 TPT

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.  – 2 Corinthians 12:10  TPT

Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness— and fools multiply words.

– Ecclesiastes 10, NIV

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

– Ecclesiastes 9:11 NIV

In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?  Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool, why die before your time?  It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

– Ecclesiastes 7:15

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

– Ecclesiastes 7:9 , NIV

It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.

– Ecclesiastes 7:6, NIV

Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of  the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

– Ecclesiastes 7:3, NIV

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.  It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

– Ecclesiastes 7:2, NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

– 2 Peter 1

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

– 2 Peter 1

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

– Genesis 4

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

– Romans 5:17

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

– Acts 20:24

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

– Ephesians 2:8-9

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:12
Berean Study Bible

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

– John 8:31

 

Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

– John 16:31

“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

– John 16:12

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

– John 15

If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.

– John 14:15

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

– John 14:12

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.   And you know the way to where I am going.

– John 14

Do the problems of returning and rebuilding by just a few survivors seem too much? But is anything too much for me? Not if I have my say.  I’ll collect my people from countries to the east and countries to the west. I’ll bring them back and move them into Jerusalem. They’ll be my people and I’ll be their God. I’ll stick with them and do right by them.

– Zechariah 8:6-8 MSG

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.

– Matthew 6:33-34, Voice

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 8:38-39 NLT

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he will  never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

1 Corinthians 10:13, MSG

It is better to go to the Lord for safety than to trust in mere human beings. It is better to go to the Lord for safety than to trust in human leaders.

– Psalm 118:8