10 Ways Insecurity Is the Enemy of Love
Paul spoke candidly about the importance of love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 when he said it is possible to have and do everything good, right and honorable in the world but if you don’t have love then you don’t have anything at all. Paul continued to describe what love is (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) and concluded with the powerful truth that “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Some might say that hate is the enemy of love. But I would argue that fear, not hate, is its enemy, which most often take form in each of us through our insecurities. When we hand over the power and control of our thoughts and intentions to our insecurities, we stifle our ability to love, because true love takes boldness and courage.
Insecurity fails us over and over again as it hinders us from becoming who God created us to be. It is the very opposite of love in that it removes our confidence and sense of safety. It makes us feel as if something is unstable. It focuses on a person’s own ability, or lack thereof, thus resulting in anxiety, fear of failure or feeling as if you are not enough. Insecurity is the devil at work, scheming to draw attention inward toward self rather than on our outward dependence, strength and influence that comes from the Lord.
Spiritual warfare is very real and we are in constant battle against the forces of this world – whether we see it, feel it, know it, or not – we can fight back with God’s Word as our weapon (Ephesians 6:11-17) and His strength as our protector (Philippians 4:13).
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Here are 10 ways insecurity proves to be the true enemy of love:
1. It Doubts
Insecurity causes worry, anxiety and uneasiness. It makes a person question what is real and true, thus causing a distrust in God. Doubt can lead a person to lose hope in God and His promises while making them feel dependent on their own ability to control their life or circumstances, rather than depending on the sovereignty of the Creator of the Universe (James 1:5-8, James 4:7).
2. It Is Jealous
Jealously is a symptom of insecurity and is often the result of a lack of self-confidence in a person’s own skills or abilities. Jealous insecurity will compare one’s life, capabilities, and accomplishments to their own and may use pride as a way to cope or respond to their jealously (Proverbs 14:30, James 4:2-3, James 4:11, Philippians 2:3).
3. It Empties
According to psychologytoday.com, a person’s childhood, past traumas, experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness, social anxiety, perfectionism, lack of confidence, and any relationships that are of a critical nature contribute to the development of insecurity. When we allow these negative influences to influence our life, we are surrendering to the enemy’s control and are gradually emptying our spirits of the good God wants to fill us with, and replacing it with lies (Proverbs 14:12, Job 15:31).
4. It Distracts
When insecurity drives you to focus inward towards self, it moves attention away from God and His greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:29-31). Distractions lead to lowered barriers which give the enemy an easy opportunity to sneak into your life. Don’t give him a foothold by putting down your guard. Instead, cling to the wisdom found in 1 Peter 5:8-9 (CEV), “Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord’s followers are suffering just as you are.”
5. It Is Selfish
Insecurity in its very nature is self-seeking, self-motivated and self-centered. It elevates oneself over others as well as God in order to make up for feeling empty and unstable. Selfishness prioritizes a person’s motives and ambitions rather than considering God’s greater intentions. Some encouraging verses to combat selfishness are seen in Acts 20:24, Romans 12:10, James 3:16, 1 Corinthians 10:24. When insecurities are at the forefront of our mentalities, we fail to recognize the needs of those around us.
6. It’s a False Foundation
Living out of insecurity is like building ones house on the sand. It’s a weak foundation. If you find your motivations are informed by perfectionism, critical relationships, social anxiety, lack of confidence, etc., you’ll find yourself held back from pursuing your God-given potential for loving people. Because spiritual warfare is real and ongoing, followers of Christ need to call on the Spirit’s strength for guidance, wisdom, and defense against the enemy forces (Ephesians 6:10-14).
7. It Is a Liar
Insecurity is a notorious liar. It manipulates a person’s bent towards perfectionism, criticism, anxiety, control, depression, people-pleasing or other weaknesses over the truth of God’s Word. These weaknesses can vie for our attention and cause us defeat (1 John 3:8), or, we can believe we are who God says we are because we believe His Word is our victory, and live in His love (1 Corinthians 15:57, James 1:18, John 1:14, John 8:32, Psalm 119:160).
8. It Masquerades
Insecurity wears different facesand can be found masquerading as fear, control, anxiety, perfectionism, arrogance, depression or pride. Depending which “mask” it is wearing, our true feelings, emotions, and motivations can be disguised as something other than what they really are – insecurity. You were made for more than the weaknesses Satan tries to use against you (Ephesians 2:10). Through Christ, you can combat insecurity with love and live a life of faith (Galatians 2:20).
9. It Can’t Measure Up
In a person’s own strength, they will never conquer the insecurities buried within them and will always fall short. The only way to measure up to the world is to remove the bar and replace it with God’s grace. Bob Goff offers wisdom to the feeling of inadequacy when he was quoted saying, “Insecurity wants us to keep track of our failures; grace doesn’t even write them down.” Remember, you are more than enough because Christ is enough. Rest securely in believing that truth. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
10. It Is Insecure
It seems counterintuitive but it’s true. Insecurity is insecure in that it is not stable or reliable because it is empty, weak, and a fraud. Through Christ, we are made whole and our lives are filled with purpose (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Through Christ, we are secure and able to do all things (Philippians 4:13). Through Christ, you possess the power to say “no” to insecurity because you are secured with salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Insecurity is the enemy of love and the two are in a daily war. Jesus knew this would be the case, but remember, the enemy is powerless against the sovereignty of God. We have nothing to fear or be insecure about when we acknowledge our battle has already been won.
“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 16:33)
Christen Fox is a blogger for https://seekinggraceandgratitude.com, an online ministry that encourages Christian women to live purposeful, unfiltered lives that embrace human imperfection within God's perfect design. Christen resides in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and four (soon-to-be 5) children. When not “momming,” you can find Christen at a local fitness class, curled up with a book, hosting small groups and other events, cooking in her kitchen or wandering around her happy place – the farmers market.