Causes of Insecurity

            How did you do avoiding complaints for the last week? I have to admit, I kept realizing I had let slip another complaint. But at least being aware of the habit is a first step to breaking it.

             Complaining and negative thinking are obstacles to experiencing Joy. Another obstacle, even more widespread, is Insecurity. We all feel it sometimes, but some of us feel it chronically. The origins are different for each of us, and our reaction to insecurity may look different (some might withdraw while others cling). However, we all swindle ourselves as we settle for a limited life, rather than an abundant life, because we are afraid. When we try to protect ourselves from any hint of failure, we cheat this world of the truly powerful contribution we could be making.

             This week I’ve been listening to the audio version of Beth Moore’s new book, So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us. She writes of many causes or roots for feeling insecure. Read through these possibilities and consider how your insecurity began:

  • An unstable home

Relational instability

Financial struggles

A Parent’s physical illness, mental illness, or addiction

An unloving parent

Any abuse – emotional, physical, verbal, or sexual


            Unprotected as a child, we seek protection and so are often drawn to the wrong type of person. Only God can always protect us from what really endangers us.


  • Significant loss of anything you derive security from. This can happen at any age.

Death of loved one

Loss of face or respect, public shame

Loss of innocence


  • Rejection

            Any relationship holds potential for rejection. However, if we won’t risk rejection we won’t find intimacy.

            Our perception of a rejection could simply be a boundary – we can’t claim ALL of a person’s attention, even a spouse.

            A rejection tells lies about our personal value, and sadly, we often concur. “I must not be valuable, worth loving, or even liking.”


  •  Dramatic change

            None of us can avoid change; only God is unchanging. We see security in sameness, even if it is not a good situation. A history of unwelcome changes leads some to dread, always expecting something bad is about to happen. Others become psychologically dependent on crisis. If there is none, we create one.

            God uses change to change us, to coax us to the next level of growth.


  • Personal limitations

Learning disability

Physical disability

Abnormality – anything that makes us feel different/inferior, even if just through our perception.


  • Personal disposition

            Tender heartedness or sensitivity can predispose us to insecurity. The more sensitive we are, the more vulnerable we become. God gave us our tender hearts for a reason. Life is brutal, but He knows it is scary to be us and doesn’t take our pain lightly.


  •   Culture

            Today’s media bombards us with unachievable perfection and the worship of youth. A mark of security is being able to be around anyone, no matter how intelligent and attractive and still maintain personal confidence and contentment. But with today’s media, we’re now tempted to feel inferior to thousands!


  •  Our own pride

            Pride! Unlike other roots, this is within our control, not imposed on us.  If I can’t be The Most Attractive, I’ll at least be…

The Best…

The Hardest Working…

The Most Congenial (or Popular?)…

The Most Noticeable…

The Most Religious…

             Instead, we end up joining the ranks of the most exhausted.

             Pride carried to extreme can become Perfectionism. Moore calls perfectionism, “Insecurity in an art form. Looks pretty, acts deadly.” Perfectionists are insecure despite (or because of) their high personal standards, emphasis on precision, and aspiration to be better than others. Perfectionists alternate between feeling horrible about themselves and superior to others. Low self esteem and pride coexist.


            Look at the above list. Does one area explain the underlying source of your insecurity? Or are you a poster child for having every root of insecurity planted somewhere in your psyche? Whether your insecurity stems from a difficult childhood, or your own pride and perfectionism, you can turn your pain over to God. In some instances you’ll be asking for forgiveness, or the ability to forgive. In others, for healing. Moore reminds us, “Time doesn’t heal. God does.”

             God sees and knows 1000 times better than we do where we are wounded and weak and what graces we need to be renewed, healed, and empowered. WE don’t need to be perfect, because HE is. In fact, he tells us “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

             This week we’ve used Beth Moore’s book to help us discover the roots of our insecurity. The “Quick Start” answer to growing out of insecurity is to focus on and trust God, rather than ourselves. But next week we’ll look deeper into practical steps to overcome our insecurity, and by doing so, knock down or sail over one more hurdle to Joy.

 Blessings on your week!

Betty Arrigotti

 To read more: Moore, Beth (2010). So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us. Tyndale. Or visit

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NASB)

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