Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So Long, Insecurity // Week Five

Week five is a turning point in our Bible study. We are turning our backs on insecurity and moving into new-found strength and dignity!

If this is your first time here, you can check out all the posts from the "So Long, Insecurity" Bible study series by clicking HERE. Jump in where you can, when you can!


If you are following along in the print materials, this week's post and discussion questions are based on:

Chapter 7: Don't Let it Fool You
Chapter 8: A Beautiful Prize Called Dignity
Chapter 9: A time and Place to Heal

Group Experience
Week Five - Finding Dignity


We are halfway through our study and standing at a beautiful crossroads. Up until now we have faced and grappled with our own insecurities - discovering the shapes and sizes they come in - reaffirming our need to overcome them.

Chapter 7 will give us one more opportunity to discover our insecurity's true identity. Beth Moore shares with us a series of personal testimonies from women (and some men) who describe exactly how insecurity has made a fool out them.

Beth lovingly reminds us:
"In one way or another, insecurity has made fools of all of us. Naturally, we'd just as soon not remember how. But dear one, if we're going to get serious about letting God deliver us, we must look in the mirror and realize how disfigured we are - far from God's original intent for us. Until we do that, we'll continue to settle for what we have." (Chapter 7, pg 110) 
Perhaps you have already identified how foolish you look in your insecurities. Or perhaps the testimonials in the book helped you see more clearly.

In case you do not have access to the book, Chapter 7 is full of stories about how insecurity causes competition, controlling behavior, or unhealthy attachment in friendships. Insecurity causes emotional eruptions at embarrassing moments hurting yourself and others. It causes a need to please, to kiss the feet of those we feel inferior to; or develops a deep self-loathing linked to physical appearance, personality or status. Insecurity blinds us to how blessed we really are and can hinder us from enjoying life or using our gifts. It can also make us do things we don't want to do (or shouldn't do). It makes us overcompensate, or hide; become a poser, or cover up who we really are. Insecurity destroys US, as God made us.

And so we now turn away from the foolish and take a look at what God intended for us: 

"She is clothed with strength and dignity..." Proverbs 31:25
She. That is you and me. This verse is from the passage known as "The Virtuous Woman", "The Wife of Noble Character" or "A Woman of Valor". This is God's intent for us.

Beth points out that same word for dignity is found in Psalm 8:3-5:

"When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor."

Honor is dignity. God crowned us with dignity. We are clothed by Him, covered, anointed, crowned! We are His prize creation and loved by Him, empowered by Him to emulate strength, honor and dignity. This is His will for us.

As we move into Chapter 9, we must let that truth sink in. It is in this chapter that Beth leads us in an amazing prayer of restoration for our dignity. But we must believe that God wills it to be so. The more we can believe His Word is Truth, the more confidence we have in Him to break down our strongholds.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15
We know that God wants to restore our dignity, we know that He hears our prayers, and He will give what we ask according to His will.

So now it is time to make that step. It is dangerous to root out something evil without replacing it with the things of God. Since we have spent some time digging and rooting, it's time for something else to grow in the place of our insecurity - God-given dignity.

In Chapter 9, Beth leads us in a complete prayer of restoration. If you have the book, please read this chapter and devote some time in prayer as Beth outlines. It is beautifully healing. If you do not have the book, ask God to lead you in a prayer that renounces the evils of insecurity and instead welcomes God's Spirit of renewal and restoration. 

Here are some points that may be helpful for you to cover:
  • Express the fragile state you are in and your desperate need for Him.
  • Confess your fears and ask for deliverance from fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • Ask for wisdom and insight so you may know yourself as He knows you - your habits, your emotions, the complexities of your soul
  • Confess and ask for forgiveness for selfishness, pride, jealousy, self-hatred, perfectionism or any other self-inflicted source of insecurity the Spirit reveals
  • Ask Him to fully uproot insecurities that were not of your own doing (losses, abuse, instability...) and ask for healing from those hurts
  • Ask Him to empower you to forgive those who have harmed you
  • Ask Him to empower you to trust Him when circumstances are shaky, instead of responding with panic or need for control
  • Ask Him to remind you of the things that make you YOU, which allow His glory and work to be done
  • Seek forgiveness for hurting others out of insecurity. 
  • Thank God for people who have shown you glimpses of Him.
  • Thank God for the miracle He is doing in your heart to restore security, dignity, strength - to overturn all the enemy meant for evil.
The last paragraph of the prayer is especially powerful:

"Today on _____________ (date), I receive my dignity back. No one and nothing can take it from me because You are the One who gave it. Help me to recognize that I've lost my dignity only because I have surrendered it. Empower me to claim it back and hang on to it with all my might. Because of Your mercy, Lord, I am no fool. Only a wise woman shifts her trust to You. In Jesus' saving and delivering name, Amen." (Chapter 9, pg 174)
The Bible verses and discussion questions below will help solidify your understanding of the truth of His word and God's desire for you. I pray that by the end of this week's study, you will have renewed hope and a refreshed spirit. May you experience God's love and healing like never before!

Bible Verses
Memorize: Proverbs 31:25
Reflect: Psalm 8:3-5
1 John 5:14-15
John 15:7
Matthew 11:28-30

Discussion Questions

1. What images come to mind when you hear the word "dignity"?

2. Beth explains that the cycle of insecurity begins to break when even though we may still feel insecure, we make a very deliberate choice to not act on that feeling. How have you experienced this cycle of insecurity? Have you been able to break it in the past? How?

3. Read Proverbs 31:25. What does it mean to you to be clothed by God?

4. Read 1 John 5:14-15 and John 15:7. What things can we know absolutely are in God's will? How can we approach Him with a request knowing that it is His will?

5. Beth reminds us that God always honors our request to root our pride - something we may need to do in our process of healing. Read Philippians 2:1-4. What does humility look like?

6. Read Matthew 11:28-30. What strikes you about Jesus' example of humility? What kind of rest do you think Jesus is talking about in this passage?

7. I'm just curious.... did you pray the prayer in Chapter 9 (or say your own according to the points listed above)? What was that process like for you? Are you feeling refreshed and confident in your new-found dignity?