Do you ever look in the mirror some days and feel so unhappy with the person looking back at you? I’m not talking about physical appearance, but the inward flaws that plague us. Perhaps it’s a shameful past, or a shameful present. Maybe it’s just an overwhelming sense that you’re not good enough for anyone, that you’ll never measure up, you’ll never make “that” person happy. Oh, sister, if you do, you are not alone.
Just recently I caught myself in one of those moments, and I snapped this picture as thoughts were whirling through my mind. I looked fine on the outside, but inside my insecurities were haunting me so heavily that I almost felt seventeen again. My jumbled thoughts plagued me. I just wanted to be free from insecurity! I’d forgotten that God already had set me free.
After what I believe to be a divine series of events and conversations, I have come to terms again with my worth. I came out of this mood more quickly and strongly than the last time. I wanted to share the scriptures that help me, because maybe there is someone who needs to hear this too.
Are you listening?
You have received mercy. You are enough. You have a purpose.
I find the entire book of 1 Peter to be empowering, but my favorite portion lies in chapter 2.
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (2:2-3)
To rid ourselves of every kind of wrongness and crave only the best way of living seems like lofty thinking to me sometimes. Who can ever achieve that? Shouldn’t we just accept ourselves for who we are and enjoy life? No. God has called us to high standards and to pursue goodness. This goal can be overwhelming. We can find ourselves insecure about our inabilities to measure up, so I love what’s said next:
“As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him–you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (2:4-5)
Hold on, friends. Let’s stop right there, because there is so much to take away in this verse alone!
–You have been rejected by humans–
Can you relate? While I believe this to be specifically referring to the rejection we receive as Christians, I think this phrase resonates with the hearts of many. We all face rejection, but that rejection doesn’t have to define us. As we read on, we see why.
–but chosen by God and precious to him-
Did you catch that part? God, the Living Stone, has chosen us, and we are precious to him! How often do we forget the impact of this truth? We matter.
–you also, like living stones, are being built-
We’re a work in progress, friends. It’s okay if we don’t have it all together or that we haven’t reached our ideals. We are being built, we’re incomplete. We won’t be complete until we meet Jesus face to face. What are we being built into though? This next part is where we find our purpose.
–into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ-
Our purpose is to live for God, through Christ. We are to set aside the ways of the world and the ways of our self and take on the ways of Christ. Our purpose is for his glory, not ours. Insecurity steeps from selfishness and pride. I’m fully convinced that if I choose to look outside of myself, look to Christ and his ways, see the people around me and think of them first, then I can step out of the waters of insecurity.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (2:9-10)
One again, we see that we matter to God and that He gives us purpose. What I love most about this passage is the last part about mercy. You see, we can’t do it on our own. We need mercy because we are human and we sin. God lavished it upon us through Jesus. So even though we will mess up, God’s mercy covers us. We don’t have to drown in the lies that tell us we are not enough, because we are enough.
We press on toward our high ideals, toward craving what is good, toward righteous living. When we mess up, we rest in the promise that the blood of Jesus Christ covers us. His mercies are new each morning. Yesterday’s sins don’t have to plague us. We can move on. We can take hold of who we are in Christ and his purpose for us.
Message for Believers
This is a message for believers in Jesus Christ, for those who have taken him on as their Savior, but it’s not an exclusive club. All are welcome to this table. All can taste the sweet mercy and grace of our Lord.
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Take hold of who you are in Christ and let him set you free from insecurity!