In my line of work I find out a lot about people's pasts, what people and members of their families have done to break the law.
Sometimes this can mean someones application is refused.
Other times it makes no difference.
Certainly the more honest one is about their past, the more likely it is that they display the right level of character to do the job they've applied for.
It occurred to me today that this can be true with our insecurities.
You see, everyone has insecurities.
The question isn't whether you have them or not, but whether you live according to them or not.
Insecurities are lies we tell ourselves which have circumstantial evidence to support them. They aren't the truth. They feel true very often, but they aren't in actual fact true.
The simple truth is that we need to acknowledge we have them to begin with.
I have my own insecurities, but as a Christian I've chosen not to accept or live according to them.
I've chosen another way.
I believe that I, and all of us in fact, are loved, forgiven, accepted unconditionally by God. I believe all of us were created by Him and that our true identity lies within Him.
All we need to do is believe and trust in that, and in what He says about us, and we can start to become the people He made us to be.
One of my favourite films is 'The Matrix', and one of the reasons is that it is a film about identity. All the way through the main character Neo is unsure and lacks confidence in his identity, until the very end.
Agent Smith and his cronies all the way through are trying to convince him that he's not who Morpheus is telling him he is, because they know that once he does realise his true identity, they won't be able to stop him and they will be in big trouble.
The enemy tries to do this to all of us.
He uses our circumstances, mistakes and personality to try and convince us of what we are not, and make us forget who we really are.
He tries to get us to believe the lies others tell us about ourselves, and that we try to tell ourselves.
He tries to distract us from the truth of ourselves.
He gets us to put our security in other things - status, money, a job, looks, the opinions of a group of people or a specific person.
Even in our own church community, which after all is just another bunch of people with insecurities, in need of the same security we are.
Our security and true identity can only come from one person - Jesus. Our true identity lies in God, in how we were originally designed to be by Him and what He says about us.
In the Matrix, when Neo finally realises who he is and what he is capable of, he changes.
He becomes confident, bold, fearless and is capable of more than he realised.
The same can be true of us.
There is potential in us that only God can currently see, we are capable of so much more if only we believe the truth about ourselves in Christ.
We must dare to believe that our insecurities about ourselves are lies, and that what God has said about us is true, and the encouragement we receive in the things we are good at is real.
Once we accept that we have these fears and insecurities, and choose to say no to them in favour of the truth about who we are in Christ, we can start to see ourselves as He sees us.
We can see what our gifts, callings and talents really are, we can see what we are capable of. We become more confident in those things and start getting encouragement and support from others as they see those things develop and become part of us. We change, and this can overflow into the lives of others.
So may we you forget about the lies the world tells you, about what you have to do to be a success, what you have to look like, about not being good enough, that you can't achieve anything or that you're not worth anything. Stop believing God's love is conditional.
All of us are made in the image of God.
All of us are loved and accepted God, as we are.
All of us are gifted and called by God.
All of us have the forgiveness of Christ freely available to us.
All of us can trust that God can provide for any need, whether emotional or physical.
God says we are all beautiful as we are.
We are all worth dying for.
We are all precious and valuable.
We are all accepted.
We all have a destiny in Christ and salvation through Him. Believe it. Live in that truth.
Because its true.
It always has been and always will be.
We just need to embrace it, believe it and live according to it. Why wait?