Insecurity Has A Voice| By Jasmine Beard

Insecurity is like a sneaky snake. It presents itself at the least opportune times and masks itself behind pride, cynicalness, and busyness. If we are not careful, we will miss it and mistake it for something else.

Insecurity is the uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.

Insecurity is lurking behind your critical comments of your sister’s new business, best friend’s husband, and maybe of people placed in authority in your life.

I once read a quote that says, “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” 

Insecurity always has something to say whether it be about others or ourselves.

One place in my life that insecurity rears its ugly head is in my relationships or in relationships I want to pursue.

I will think to myself, “she doesn’t want to be my friend. I’m not cool enough. I’m not spiritual enough” and so on and so forth! 

We have all been there. We say phrases like these to ourselves:

“I am not enough.”

“I am not pretty enough.”

“She is prettier than me.”

“I am not smart enough.”

“I am too prideful.”

“I can’t wear that.”

“He’s too good for me.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have been on the phone with a friend and he or she is going on and on about something they feel inferior doing or about something or someone they don’t feel good enough for.

But today I want to tell you, whatever your “not enough” is, you must recognize that you are the voice of your insecurity. You are the voice that is stopping you.

Your voice is the reason you have not taken that business venture, called that person to build a friendship, or become the woman God has called you to be. 

Moses is a person in the Bible that I identify with so much. I have had many conversations with the Lord that have mirrored the insecurities, fears and concerns that Moses had.

Exodus 4:8-12 (NLT) gives a great example of these conversations. Maybe you can relate, it reads:

8 The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign.

9 And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.”

10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 

12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

Even with God giving Moses instruction and telling him that He was with him, Moses still doubted. He still felt inferior despite the security God gave him. He spoke insecure words about himself and neglected all confidence and strength that dwells inside of The One who called him.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

The Bible says, God’s strength is made PERFECT in our weakness. It says “PERFECT” my friend, not “just okay” or “not enough”, but perfection.

Sometimes our insecurities are true about us, but our insecurities are never true of God. He uses the weak to do mighty. He uses little to make much.

Stop the self-hatred and self-ridicule and choose today to listen to what God says about you. Let that be the voice that pushes you towards your destiny.

Do not go one more day being the voice that ridicules and criticizes. Choose to listen to the voice of God and let His confidence be your guide in all that you do.

A Different Kind of Confidence| By Sarah Koay

From a young age, I have been quite an introvert. I am quite shy with strangers, but the one thing that I always had with me was my self-confidence.

There are many things that I knew and experienced earlier than my friends that I wish I never knew so early in my life, and I ended up having severe depression and anxiety because of this. However, my confidence was never lost. Somehow, it was still with me even through those years of being mentally unstable.

Now I am free from depression and anxiety (Praise God for his gracious love!), and I am no longer all that shy or as introverted as I used to be. In fact, I am starting to feel more like an extrovert. However, I soon realized that I am losing my confidence.

What is confidence?

Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

The world tells us to place our confidence in ourselves and our ability to accomplish our goals and realize our dreams. Rich people are often confident in their wealth. The powerful are often confident in their strength and position, the talented often in their talents. But what if we do not have all these?

Confidence is also the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

However, we are not called to place our confidence in any of those whether we have someone or something that we can rely on or not. We are called to place our confidence in God. It does not mean that we should not have self-confidence.

However, know where your confidence comes from. For the definition that best fits the word, confidence is the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

If our confidence comes from us or our abilities alone, we will lose it when we face challenges or when someone better comes along. So be confident in God and the identity that He (not you or anyone else) has given you.

“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise You because of the wonderful way You created me. Everything You do is marvelous! Of this, I have no doubt.” Psalms 139:13-14 (CEV)

“For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (NKJV)

We know that this is the truth, and we can rely on it because our God does not lie (Num 23:19), and He definitely won’t fail (Jos 21:45; Isa 55:11).

I have yet to find full confidence, but one thing I do know is that the confidence that I have right now is totally different from the one I had in the past. The amount of confidence I used to have cannot even be compared to the quality of confidence I have right now in Christ. 

I AM| By Tori Savoy

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14 (KJV)

There are multiple passages in the Bible that God is referred to as “I AM”. An english teacher may look at that sentence and say it is incomplete. But God finishes it. He is God, the Almighty, the omnipotent, the omnipresent, Jehovah, Immanuel, and so forth. God embodies all that is good. He is truly all in all. 

In order to fully understand who God is, we must understand who we are. We are the opposite of good, overwhelmed by our sins and incomplete without the great “I AM.” 

We live in a society that encourages us to self-promote whether for job interviews, when trying to make friends or impress family.

 “I am a good person.”

“I am a successful entrepreneur.”

Yet, we are still incomplete. Until we can humble ourselves and see ourselves for what we truly are, God cannot reign in our lives.

The Psalmists realize their inabilities and worthlessness without the grace of a Savior. 

“I am a worm, and no man” (Psalm 22:6).

“I am poor and needy” (Psalm 40:17).

“I am . . . a stranger unto my brethren” (Psalm 69:8).

“I am full of heaviness” (Psalm 69:20).

“I am poor and sorrowful” (Psalm 69:29).

“I . . . am as a sparrow alone upon the house top” (Psalm 102:7).

“I am withered like grass” (Psalm 102:11).

Fortunately, the Lord is the answer to any problem we have. He fills every emptiness and longing our hearts desire. Whatever we need in our life, HE IS.  When we need financial provisions, God says I AM. When we are searching deep for love and happiness, God says I AM. When we need courage in the face of fear, God says I AM. When we are searching for hope and comfort in the midst of tragedy, God says I AM.  He is EVERYTHING.  

“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Gen. 15:1 (KJV)

Like a shield, He protects us from harm that may face us. When we have faced our giants and have gone through tribulations for his name, He is our great reward.  What greater reward is their in life than the one who created us and knows exactly what we need?

“…I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed..” Gen 26:24 (KJV)

We have no need to fear because HE IS. He will be the courage that are feeble hearts lack. When we let God be everything in our lives, He is able to bless us in mighty ways.  

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect.” Gen 17:1 (KJV)

If God is everything, we should be spending every moment serving Him.  Walk every step in obedience to Him, seeking to be like Him. His ways are perfect and our only chance of being such is walking in His guidance. 

No matter how our circumstances change, the Lord never changes. We can always count on Him to be everything we need.

“I am the Lord, I change not..” Malachi 3:6 (KJV)

“The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore, my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise Him.” Psalm 28:7 (KJV)

Kind Words are Like Honey| By Jasmine Beard

“You are such an accepting person. I know and feel like I can tell you anything,” my friend said.

I smiled and thought to myself, “If only she knew all the thoughts and judgements I thought of throughout the day. My heart is not pure. I wish I wasn’t judgemental. I’m so far from where I should be in my walk with God.”

You read that correctly. Someone gave me a compliment, and instead of receiving it, I rejected their words and reversed what they spoke over me. Instead of allowing the words of affirmation and blessing to sink into my mind, heart, and spirit, I let who I believed I was to sink into my mind, heart, spirit, and eventually into my identity.

I wish I could say this type of dialogue was a rare happening in my life, but truthfully it is far more common than I would like to admit. And what is even more hard to admit is that I am only now just realizing it.

“I’m so mean to myself and because of the way I view myself, I tend to judge others through that same lens,” I listened on the other end of the phone as another friend shared those words with me. Her words did not resonate with me immediately, but overtime I understood more and more what she meant.

Behaviors, circumstances, and interactions can become familiar to us. And when something becomes familiar, it does not appear abnormal. Take for instance, a woman’s husband has been wearing the same cologne for the last six years. After six years, she may not even smell the fragrance, but simply identify the smell with her husband. However, let’s say that same woman’s husband walked in their home wearing a different cologne than the one he had wore for the past six years, and she’d probably notice instantly.

This same familiarity can be true in our dialogues with ourselves. We can get so use to speaking harsh words to ourselves that we no longer see them as harsh, but as normal. The reality is that the words we speak to ourselves can be anything but normal and are actually cruel and self-loathing behavior.

It was not until my friend mentioned to me how mean she was to herself that I began to notice my very own self-loathing behavior. I have always chalked my inner dialogue with myself to have something to do with my perfectionist mindset and less to do with my self-esteem and value of myself.

The Bible tells us that, “kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

Are your words like honey?

Are they sweet to your soul and bringing nourishment to your body?

Are you the person who can shower others with compliments, but can’t receive one?

Do you smile and immediately disregard the kind comment someone has relayed to you?

This was me, and it may be you today. But friend, I want to encourage you to fall in love with you, the person you are today, not the woman you aspire to become. Fall in love with the journey. And most importantly, fall in love with the King, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

His word tells us that we are made in His image. We are a reflection of His splendor and beauty, and as we fall more in love and awe with the King, the more we reflect His marvelous light.

So when you find that you have nothing kind to say to yourself or about yourself pray what the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 139:14 (TPT)

“I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord!”

You are Altogether Beautiful| By Tori Savoy

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I slipped on my best dress, used as many beauty products on my face as possible, and straightened my curly locks until they looked like sleek perfection. It was girls night, and I was set on looking my absolute best.

My husband caught a glimpse of me and told me I looked beautiful. I responded with a quick thank you, as our usual routine, then returned to doing a full-body check to make sure I looked exactly right (completely letting that compliment go in one ear and out the other).

I slowly turned and looked at every inch of where my dress laid to make sure there were no noticeable bumps, or abnormal body shapes. I then proceeded to run my fingers through my hair and got face-to-face with the mirror to look at every detail of my face – especially to make sure those pesky dark circles and eye wrinkles were masked as much as possible.

Forgetting my husband was in the room, I heard a little giggle from behind me.

“You sure do look at every little detail, don’t you?” My husband said with a smirk on his face.

“I guess I’m just self-conscious of the little things,” I responded.

“Well, you look gorgeous to me.”

Somehow, God taught me a lesson right then and there.

You see, my husband did not see the little flaws I saw because he looks at me as a whole and thinks I am beautiful. Even as I stood there focusing on every flaw, my husband stood there admiring my every move.

This is very similar to my relationship with God. His word tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He calls me beautiful and beloved. Yet, I can hear those words over and over again and still turn to the mirror to pick out my imperfections. Just like my husband’s words, I let God’s words go in one ear and out the other. I view myself through a mirror of self-hate rather than God’s mirror.

I come to God and say, “But look at these imperfections in my heart. Look at the ugly.”

He looks at me and says, “Look at all the beauty I created.”

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them..” Genesis 1:27(NIV)

It can be a difficult thing to break a life-long habit of self-destruction and self-hate. Words that were said to me at a young age continue to repeat in my head to this day. Things like “You’ll be as big as a house and never find a husband if you keep eating those cookies” constantly remind me that my body weight and physical appearance need to take priority. Those feelings were heightened when my chronic illness made me gain significant weight. My outer appearance determined whether I was worthy of love from others.

However, God’s word tells me otherwise.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you..” Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)

You see, from the moment I was created, God began a work in me – molding me perfectly into a unique creation. He continues to mold and shape me each and everyday, making me more beautiful than the day before. His definition of beauty stretches further than just the surface.

Instead of viewing ourselves through a distorted mirror molded by our own opinions or the opinions of others, we must see ourselves through God’s lens. You are a daughter of the most high King and possess all the beauty and grace of a princess.

I would encourage you to meditate on what God’s word says of each of us.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:13-14