Insecurities and Self-Righteousness

Hi everyone, how are you all doing? Can you believe that we’re nearly in August now? How time has passed. A little update on the move, we’re almost there! Practically everything has been packed and we’ll probably be moving into our new home next week. It’s a little hard to really get a grip on the idea that we’re going to be living in a new house. As I have been working, I haven’t been really involved in the packing and the preparations as much as the rest of my family.

Back in June, I went to a writer’s camp that my choice college was offering. On the last day, I was given a note from someone who had also been attending. In the note was something particularly surprising. Paraphrasing here, the person had basically said “I love how you carry yourself so confidently”. Hah! Me? Confident?  Oh boy, in that moment I was thinking how unconfident I really was. In reality, I struggle with confidence and insecurities, as I’m sure many of us do. Thus, I’d like to talk about how our insecurities can sometimes be the root of our self-righteousness.

Self-righteousness/Arrogance

Self-righteousness is such an easy feeling to slip into, isn’t it? After all, who doesn’t want to think well of themselves, or at least feel better about ourselves than the other person. Feeling superior to someone else feels good, and is often effortless. Especially when we ourselves are insecure and in turn spot flaws in others to lift ourselves up. Specifically, when we feel that we are lacking in some area, (e.g. athletic abilities, academic skill, or perfect figures. etc.)  I think we can tend to really search for imperfections in those around us. It builds us up temporarily, but it doesn’t really help us.

Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem

I imagine that a lot of us aren’t as confident as we’d like to be. In addition, I believe that we are often more confident than we appear. However inside, we feel insecure. Whether it’s in faith, friendships, work, physical appearances, or academics, etc.

Also, we can also fall into the snare of thinking poorly about ourselves. We reduce our value ourselves because we aren’t living up to what we think we should be. Or we’re not where we think we ought to be, and that we should be smarter, or more impactful in our faith.  These are destructive thoughts that can really send us on a downward spiral. It’s not helpful, and it can, ironically, cause us to become self-righteous and arrogant.

As a teen that continually slides from one end of the spectrum to another (self-righteousness/arrogance to low-self esteem) I struggle with finding the balance. Sometimes, because of my insecurities, I’ll search for flaws in others to lift me up, but then I become arrogant in my thinking. However, there have been times where I beat myself up and feel like the lowest of the low.

A Christian’s Identity/Conclusion

As the root cause of arrogance can be our own insecurities, we need to reinforce what we know. That our value is not dependent on whether we got a “B” instead of an “A”, or if we have the build of an Olympic athlete or not, or even if we’re only reaching 10 instead of 100 people with ministry.  

Yes, we should strive to do and be the best that we can be for God, but His love does not change (Psalm 136:26). Remember that Jesus thought we were worth it when He went to the cross (John 3:16). If that can’t convince us of our value, than nothing will. Because our identity is established through our Savior (Colossians 2:9-10, John 1:12), we don’t need to search out flaws in others to lift ourselves higher. We can feel confident because Jesus has already defined who we are. The Lord covers our insecurities and makes us whole. Yes, we are imperfect (Romans 3:23). Yes, we are a mess. But we are also redeemed (Ephesians 1:7) and we are dearly loved (Romans 5:8).

What about you? Do you agree? What do you think? What insecurities have you struggled with? Have they caused you to become self-righteous towards others or arrogant? Do you search out flaws in others to make you feel better about yourself? Have you struggled with low self-esteem? Have you had difficulties recognizing your identity in Christ? If so, what can you do? What have you done?

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