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Confronting Our Insecurities: The Key to Becoming Powerful Leaders

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Faith and Work, Videos

“Hey leaders, let’s deal with our insecurities. Marketplace skills are missionary skills; we all deal with insecurities—all of us. Those nagging little voices that whisper, “You’re not enough”—this, of course, is completely true. On our own, you and I are not nearly enough, so these voices, they sort of have a point. There’s a gap between who we are and who we know we’re supposed to be, and that dissonance creates fear, and that fear turns up the volume. So what do we do with all this messy stuff these voices stir up? Wrestling with insecurity doesn’t mean you’re a bad person; it means you’re a normal, broken, sinful human being. But when it comes to leadership, insecurity better be high on your list of things to repent of. I might even suggest it’s number one. You see, our insecurities don’t just make us weak leaders; they make us dangerous leaders. I’m going to say that again: our insecurities don’t just make us weak leaders; they make us dangerous leaders.

When Saul was anointed king in 1st Samuel 10, his insecurities were on full display. Scripture tells us that Saul was a head taller than everyone else and that he was the best-looking man in all of Israel. He had all the outward characteristics we love in our leaders, and yet when the people gathered to anoint him as their King, no one could find him anywhere. Look at 1st Samuel 10:22. So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” You know, our English word “baggage” has a slang definition that means emotional problems or things that stem from past trauma or negative issues from our past, but I might also throw in from our sin nature as well. So Saul was hiding among the literal baggage because of his figurative baggage. On the outside, Saul was the perfect leader, but inside, Saul was terrified. He was overwhelmed. He was feeling that dissonance between what was being asked of him and who he knew himself to be.

This was sort of understandable. I mean, a few chapters earlier, he was just minding his own business, plowing a farm field. Now, he was being anointed as Israel’s first-ever King. I would have been scared to death too. But as the story of Saul unfolds through the remainder of 1 Samuel, we see this leader who once hid in the physical baggage never address his emotional and spiritual baggage. Saul never dealt with his insecurities; he just began to live into them. So King Saul went from celebrated young leader to fearful, manipulative, vengeful, and murderous psychopath. The story just gets crazier and crazier. He threw a spear at the young and upcoming leader David, trying to kill him, to pin him to the wall. This happened on multiple occasions. In a panic, he sought advice from a demonic psychic. He made strategic mistakes in battle because he got ahead of God and thought he had to be the hero. He even threatened to kill his own son because of a rash vow he made in front of his men. Saul was scared, and he led from his fear. And these unrepentant insecurities didn’t just make him a bad leader; they turned him into a dangerous human being, a dangerous human being with power over other people.

So when I read a story like Saul’s, I try to remember I am not immune to hiding among my own baggage, the baggage that comes from being a fallen, broken, sinful man. You know, if not for Jesus, I am capable of horrific things too. And even worse, I’m capable of spinning those horrific choices as good and right and necessary because my insecurities can deceive even me. So here’s my plea to all of us in leadership of any kind: please, let’s deal with our insecurities. The gospel offers us hope not just by telling us what we need to do but by empowering us to truly change from the inside out. The finished work of Jesus becomes the foundation of real transformation, and this always begins with humility and repentance. Everything I need in Christ, I already have. So those fear-filled voices screaming, “Hey, you’re not enough,” just go ahead and agree with them. You’re not enough. But Christ in you is more than enough, and that is the recipe for healing the fear-based operating system that drives us. We don’t have to hide in our baggage because of what Christ has done for us.

So as a leader, I would encourage you today, let the Holy Spirit search your heart. We all wrestle with insecurity, but as you learn to recognize it, get in the habit of confessing it to Jesus. Call it out as the sin that it is and repent of it, and ask him to truly help you find your peace and rest in him. Let’s allow the resurrected King to resurrect a true sense of security in our hearts, a confidence and boldness that comes from the gospel alone. We don’t have to lead from among our baggage. So leaders, please, for the sake of all those who depend on you, let’s allow Jesus to heal our insecurities. What’s at stake is far too important.”

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