Kindness seems to be in short supply these days. COVID + political mudslinging + family stressors + financial woes has created a perfect storm, sucking kindness into its vortex like Dorothy’s house in The Wizard of Oz.
We’re drained, but somehow we think our soul should bear up without our help.
We don’t know how to be kind to our soul.
Case in point: In late July, I got a rejection from my “dream agent.” That didn’t rattle me—but what it represented did. Suddenly I questioned whether I’d heard God correctly. I’d spent three years on a massive project I thought He’d called me to write. Then an industry expert said I should abandon it for a book idea I wasn’t sure I should pursue. I prayed but had no peace about it. Insecurities spiraled. My health suffered. So did my soul.
Through that, I learned seven things about being kind to your soul.
1. Insecurity is a nudge for you to accept your limitations.
Have you ever opened your hands to God and said, “I accept me, and I trust You”? Our heads say we can’t do everything but our hearts don’t get the memo. I live with physical limitations as fallout from Lyme disease. But that agent’s rejection put me into a mindset of not accepting myself/my abilities or trusting God.
2. Insecurity can divide your heart.
I’ve written about Lot’s wife having a divided heart. Three of the four Gospels record Jesus talking about how a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. God wired your brain to survive, thrive, and heal. But insecurities feed the brain a contrary message that loops down to the heart.
3. Insecurity can turn into self-contempt.
My recent insecurities morphed into anger. Did I really waste the last three years? I could have done so many other things that mattered to God.
Friends, destructive self-talk is a short walk to the edge of a grace line—the point where you feel you’ve depleted your allotment of God’s grace and you turn against yourself.
That assumes many forms: I waste too much time. I don’t pray enough. I should do more service. I’m not good enough to ____. (You get the picture.) Self-contempt can harm your soul and your body more than physical sickness can.
4. Insecurity is another form of selfishness.
That’s an ugly fact.
Insecurity shines the spotlight on me first. Overtly, that can look like self-preservation—hunkering down, just taking care of me because it’s so hard to get through the day. (NOTE: Sometimes that’s necessary.) Subtler but more destructive is unhealthy self-sacrifice minus healthy boundaries. Three examples are longstanding overcommitments, procrastinating then swooping in to save the day, and doing good to keep others in your debt. All can gradually devalue your life. (Ministry workers often suffer from this.)
5. Insecurity covers up a lie or a wound.
Lies and wounds are insatiable scavengers vying for more space in your life. Has a lie taken root? Name it and rebuke it. Is a past wound causing insecurity? Ask God for help healing it.
But don’t condemn it. Self-condemnation is a short stroll beyond insecurity. Both are open-door invitations for Satan to work his wiles.
6. Insecurity operates when no “win” is in sight.
Insecurity nudges you to search for a “win” in places where God hasn’t told you to look.
I’ve had billable income only two months out of the past eight. Online work applications seem to drop into black holes. Should I pursue other book ideas? Say the heck to both and apply for early Social Security benefits?
God’s path isn’t an easy path, but it’s the path your soul needs to tread. And God’s ‘no’ is kinder than any ‘yes’ the world can offer. He truly is working in all things for the good of those who love Him.
7. To be kind to your soul, meet insecurity with God’s truth.
Even if the lie of insecurity feels true, don’t give it any space or energy! How?
Try this. (Insert your name where the blanks are. It’s powerful.)
Picture God speaking to the demons. “Do you see that broken vessel? You’re going down because ____ [your name] has more authority through Me than you can ever dare to have. You will hate ___ for it. But ___ belongs to Me, and I will never let you triumph over ___.” (paraphrase from Susie Larson’s August 31, 2020, Facebook Live event)
God has already decided your worth. It will never be up for debate.
Insecurity is a warning to be kind to your soul. Jesus meets you in the midst of your insecurities and is kinder to you than you are to yourself. Engage your mind, heart, and will in believing God wants you at His table—because He has already moved heaven and earth to make that possible! Ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself the way He sees you: chosen and priceless. Feed on His Word and thank Him for it. There’s immeasurable freedom in that. And oceans of kindness for your soul.