Don’t Let Fear & Insecurity Drive

  1. Message: In Exodus 1 Joseph and all of his brothers had died and there was a new king that didn’t know anything about Joseph. I thought it was interesting that he didn’t know the history of the land and wasn’t aware of a man that was so powerful and instrumental in Egypt. What he did know was that there were a lot of Israeli people and they were continuing to multiply. They already lived segregated from the rest of Egypt because even though Joseph was the #2 in command of Egypt and lived in a palace, his family members were all shepherds. Egyptians despised shepherds and didn’t want to live among them. Instead Pharaoh had given them “the best of the land” and also put them in charge of his own livestock. God blessed them because of the blessing over Jacob and the favor given to Joseph. The king was afraid of the Israeli people because they were thriving and growing. He was afraid that they would continue to outgrow them, outsmart them and eventually take sides with their enemies in battle and defeat them. Instead of strengthening a relationship with them he decided to oppress them and make them their slaves in order to “wear them down”. He underestimated their stubborn ways (they are the descendants of a very stubborn Jacob) and of the favor of God over them. The more he oppressed them, the more they multiplied and thrived even in slavery.
  2. Command: Don’t let fear and insecurity get in the driver’s seat.
  3. Promise: As I appreciate the value of others, my own value increases.
  4. Warning: My own self-preservation instincts will lie to me when I try to push past fear and insecurity. Keep pushing past those lies!
  5. Application: As I read this I thought about how much people have not changed since the beginning of time. There are patterns throughout history and we can see them at varying degrees in our personal relationships. When people fear the strength, blessing or abilities of other people, they try to shut them down, oppress them, eliminate them, discredit them or enslave them to try to stop the threat of their success. This is the work of weak, insecure people. People that are more secure know that teaming up with people who have strengths that they don’t have will make them better and more successful. Weak, insecure people fear the success of others. Their fear drives them to try to control either with power, or passively with a victim mentality. If they are in a position of power they will abuse it and if they have no power or position they will isolate and rehearse a false narrative in their own minds. This behavior can be as broad as racism and bigotry, it can show up through jealousy and rivalry of a smart or successful coworker, or in the dislike of a good looking or talented person. It is the same spirit behind all of these situations and it shows up in all types of day to day encounters where insecurity drives people. We all have insecurities and we all can find ourselves on both the giving and receiving end of this in different situations. When I look at this I have to ask myself who I have seen as a threat to my own value on any level at all. Even if I don’t act out of that insecurity, what internal narratives are in the background of my mind that would try to feed my insecurity with false justifications? These are hard questions. Nobody wants to view their insecurities for what they are and we are so quick to deceive ourselves with plenty of excuses. My challenge to myself is to identify those moments when I feel that twinge of insecurity rise up, and then intentionally find or create opportunities to defeat it by building relationship, encouraging and supporting that person. I have had people tell me in the past that they thought of me a certain way when they observed me from a distance, but once they got to know me the image they originally believed was shattered as we became friends. I have done the very same thing and laughed later on as I thought about my first impression of some of the people in my life that I love the most.

Leave a Reply