There was a woman who, every time she cooked a ham, would cut it in two before sticking it into the oven. She always saw her mother do it, so when she got married, she just continued cooking her ham the exact same way. One day, her husband asked her, “Honey, why do you always cut the ham in two?” Without lacking any confidence in her cooking skills, she replied, “Because that is the right way to do it.”
Some time later, she was spending the day with her mother. They were hanging around in the kitchen when she noticed her putting a ham in the oven whole. “Mom, what are you doing? Why didn’t you cut the ham in two?”
“Oh, dear,” her mother replied, “I had to do that in the old house because the oven was too small!”
Can you relate at all to this woman? There is no telling what all we do in our day-to-day lives without really knowing or even questioning why. Have you ever stepped back and looked at something people mindlessly do day in and day out and wonder, “Why?” It’s such a great question to ask sometimes. There are many things we do, as humans, without questioning. Living in friendship with insecurity is one of them. Unfortunately, we have accepted it as simply a part of life without even stopping to wonder, “Wait a minute, why am I like this, and where did it come from?”
In the Beginning
To help answer this question, let’s start in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” – Genesis 3:1-10
In the very beginning, sin entered the hearts of Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. It all began when, by the cunning influence of the serpent, Eve questioned what God had told her. She and Adam chose to listen to the serpent instead of believing and trusting God. Because of their sin, all of their offspring (which is us) would now be contaminated by this sinful inheritance.
Afterwards, when God called out to Adam, he responded, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” When sin entered humanity, insecurity was born. In fact, the very first evidence of sin in Adam and Eve was their insecurity. What did they immediately do? They saw their nakedness and hid in shame. That is the nature of insecurity. It hides. It hides our vulnerability. The fall of man, and the resulting insecurity that ensued, is what first caused us to retreat from our Creator. The shame of sin brings on insecurity, which causes us to withdraw –even from the very One who gave us life.
Insecurity is the byproduct of shame. It is like a tarp over a flowerbed, limiting growth, extinguishing potential, and hiding the unique beauty and life that the world needs to see and experience. When Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, He took upon Himself our shame by paying the penalty of our sin. When the weight of sin is lifted, so is the power of insecurity; and a unique beauty, vitality, and strength is revealed. This enables you to give glory to God and to reflect His image in the world- like only you can. Your true beauty rests in the authenticity and candor of your personality. This is what Jesus came to restore to you- your freedom to be you. His plan was for you to be free indeed, through and through, to the depths of the reality of who we are. When we operate in that freedom, we are like vessels of life to the people around us.
Perhaps for the first time, just imagine living your life completely free from insecurity! How would your life look different than it does now? Before moving on, write down what your life would look like if you were completely free from insecurity. Taking hold of the life of freedom that you desire begins today as you shift your focus and develop new vision that is in alignment with God’s Word.