Security in Christ as the Cure for Insecurity, Part 1
In the 1984 film Amadeus, the fictional rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri is explored. At multiple points, the great compositional skills of Mozart operate as the bane to Salieri’s existence. Salieri, confronted with the unimaginable skill of Mozart, is unable to contain his frustrations. He renounces his faith in God, incapable of believing that the Lord would not bless him with such talents, while instead granting them to the juvenile Mozart. So, he hatches a plot to have Mozart killed and then steal his final composition as his own. All the while, however, he acts as a kind and benevolent friend to Mozart. He keeps his insecurities hidden, even as he schemes to end the life of the great composer.
There is a great moral lesson within the film. Throughout its duration, the viewer is warned that a life lived insecurely will end in abysmal failure. Those who live like Salieri, jealous of the success of others, are insecure in their own skin. Ultimately, they are insecure in the life that God has allotted to them.
The depravity of man is such that, in his own insecurity, he will try to prop himself up by tearing down others rather than building others up. But the Christian is called to something far greater than this. The Christian is called to be secure in their security, and thus work towards the common mission of glorifying God and advancing the Kingdom. We are not to be a vindictive people, but a magnanimous body of believers in Christ. Insecure people exist because they have no sense of security or contentment in Jesus. The cure for insecurity is a contented knowledge of a secure salvation in Christ.
Saved and… Insecure?
We have all met insecure people who, like ticking time bombs, seem to hurtle towards the moment of their own self-destruction. Pride, jealousy, discontentedness, and insecurity are combustible elements in the hearts of sinners when they are not repented of and put to death. These qualities can destroy lives, families, marriages, friendships, and even churches.
Recently, there have been many blog posts, podcasts, and books written about insecure church leaders who ruled over their congregations as dictators until, one day, their self-exaltation ended in self-destruction. Stories have been told of large and small churches alike, where the behavior of the elders and deacons has been described as abusive, short fused, and prideful. Ultimately, many have adopted a posture of insecurity, constantly worried that they will lose their power and standing before others. They live in an anxious state, constantly threatened by the potential success of others. In such settings, the insecure will do all in their power to keep others from succeeding in any sort of meaningful ways.
This is maybe something we expect to find in the ruthless business world. But is such behavior really inside the church? Unfortunately, the experiences of many can attest that insecurity is in the church. Yet, we know that the Christian life is to be far, far different from that of the business world. The Christian life is not to be anything like that of Amadeus’s Salieri. It is not to be lived insecurely, jealously, or discontentedly. The Christian life is, by and far, the most secure life that one can possibly live, for the salvation we enjoy in Christ is the most secure gift man has ever received. As such, security in Christ acts as the cure for a sinfully insecure life.
Learning How Security Cures Us
Consider the words of Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” This verse is divisible into three very simple principles for security in the Christian life:
1. Do not lust after money (or success, or fame, or fortune, etc.).
2. Be content with what you have (because it all comes from the hand of the Lord, anyway).
3. Be content most of all in Christ, because he has promised to never leave nor forsake you.
The Christian who implements these three biblical principles into their life will never be insecure. We are secure in Christ, after all. What else could we possibly need to be satisfied or joyful? In Christ, we have the greatest possible treasure, and nothing at all can ever separate us from him. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:31-32, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” God will graciously give us all we need to live a contented life unto his glory alone. Again, what more could we possibly need?
The Christian who implements these three biblical principles will have practical ways to fight against insecurity, discontent, and discouragement. Rather than feeling fear or jealousy when others succeed and they don’t, such a Christian will be filled with joy, also remembering that we are to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom 12:15). The success of other Christians is actually the success of the Body of Christ. When one part succeeds, all effectively succeed together. This understanding leads not only to a greater sense of security, but a greater sense of joy as well. After all, the secure and contented individual has no fear of being forgotten by Christ when others succeed but can appreciate the way God works through others. In turn, such secure and content individuals learn how to rejoice in Christ alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ. Such rejoicing is a distinguishing feature of biblical security.
Jacob Tanner is pastor of Christ Keystone Church, a Reformed Baptist church plant in Central Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife and two sons. He is the author of Union with Christ: The Joy of the Christian’s Assurance in the Doctrines of Grace.