My mother-in-law recently sent me this great article by the teacher Beth Moore. If you don’t know who she is, she wrote a book called Breaking Free which is a very simple Bible study that teaches you how to use the words of truth in the Bible as proclamations. There is one thing Beth Moore knows, and that is scripture–she knows that it is the best weapon of all.
The article was an interview about her new book So Long, Insecurity, which is all about her path to overcoming insecurity and how other women, especially, can overcome it as well. I think this book is very, very timely. (And I love the subtitle: “you’ve always been a bad friend to us”.) Although I’ve always kind of felt that insecurity was a “thing”, nowhere has anyone named insecurity as an enemy, a “thing” that is wielded against us. Once some kind of false reality is named, our discernment of it gets greater, our weapons against it get sharper.
The minute we ate from the tree, insecurity was there to hold our hand.
Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The word for naked here is “erom”, which is usually used in places that indicate shame, exposure and bared-ness. It is distinct from “arum”, a word used earlier in Genesis to indicate something naked or not typically clothed. So the nakedness that they were before they ate, and the nakedness they felt after they ate were distinct. It’s interesting in that the word “arum”–which is what Adam and Eve were upon their creation–doesn’t necessarily mean unclothed. It’s quite possible–and I believe–that Adam and Eve were clothed with light, with a type of divine garment. If we were created in his image, and he is clothed with garments of light and majesty, his image of himself probably was, too.
Whatever they were stripped of, whether psychologically or physically, left them feeling bare. “Feeling bare” is another way of defining insecurity. Insecurity is feeling vulnerable, subject to harm, or dangerous sensitivity to one’s surroundings. Their nakedness per se was not the issue–the feeling of being vulnerable to harm was.
Perhaps they were not stripped of their light-laden clothing at all, but they felt they were. And insecurity has been our first line of thought since that point.
I can’t wait to read more of her book because I have thought about this quite a bit and struggled with it my whole life. I’ve overcome a lot of insecurity in the last 10 years, and I’m really with her in how frustrating it is to watch every woman I know struggle with it. (Her website declares: “We’re insecure. You and me and every woman. In fact, chronic insecurity is a cultural epidemic, but almost no one is talking about it. And it ticks me off.”) I just love it when a Baptist teacher gets ticked off. It’s about time.
Her website has a great idea: symbolically saying goodbye to insecurity by sending off a “so long, insecurity post”. It’s kind of mind-blowing–a collective blog where women are naming their insecurity demons. I’ve always known that when something I am struggling with has a name and a face, when it is pin-pointed, it is out in the light. That is half the battle–then I know what I am resisting. And it will flee.