I would argue 99 percent of the population have them, and the other one percent is lying. Insecurities abound in our image-based culture. I wonder if Christians are handling them with care.
Some are more serious than others, but they all serve at least one specific purpose – to keep us humble.
These sensitivities must be treated with extreme caution. Insecurities will be places of high sensitivity within our lives. As we build our relationships, we’ll inevitably encounter the ugliness of insecurity in those closest to us.
Here are some ways to handle other’s insecurities with precision and caution.
- Be aware most have at least one, and listen/watch for it. Sometimes it will be revealed in body language or ambiguously in conversation. However you learn about it, note it and remember it for later.
- Remember it! It hurts you and them if you stick your foot in your mouth by bringing it up in a crass or untimely manner. Treat the matter with care by remembering his or her insecurities.
- Look for a chance to encourage. Sometimes you will be fortunate enough to have your friends tell you their insecurities. With love and care, look for an opportunity to encourage them by refuting the lies they have told themselves about these sensitivities. In other words, speak truth that’s louder than the lies they tell themselves.
- Accept the person unconditionally like Jesus did. The gospels are full of interactions where Jesus loves social outcasts – people who had every reason to live in their insecurities. He cleansed lepers (Mark 1:40-45) and loved on a woman known for numerous marital relationships (John 4). Show the same kind of unconditional acceptance as Christ did. This will build relationships, and open up opportunities to share the gospel.
- Apologize if you mishandle an insecurity. We won’t always be Christ-like in our treatment of insecurities. Even as I write this post I am reminded of times I had to apologize to close friends for joking about some sensitive matters. It was never worth the laugh at their expense!
By handling others’ insecurities with love and grace, they will be encouraged to do the same with yours and others. Kindness starts an inevitable ripple effect.
So, let’s show kindness today and love like Jesus did.