Dealing With Insecurities While Being Mentally Ill by David Lee Chu Sarchet
“But you a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” -1 Peter 2:9
As someone who has struggled with mental illness all of my life, I have always dealt with feelings of insecurity. When I was younger, people would call me “stupid” or “retarded” whenever I exhibited behavior that they thought was weird. These kids did not understand that I had a clinical mental illness that I was struggling with. And it did not mean that I was less intelligent than they were. They just saw someone acting strangely and they assumed it was because of mental retardation.
For the longest time I allowed their words to penetrate my mind. And now, even today as an adult, from time to time I still find myself doubting my intelligence. Nowadays, when I doubt my intelligence, it manifests in me becoming argumentative. I think that if I can convince the other person to see things my way that will prove that I am smart.
Awhile back I used to deal with this insecurity by getting into romantic relationships and clinging to the women whom I was dating. My thinking here was that if a woman chose to be with me that must mean I have value and thus I am intelligent.
In this blog, I will give some encouragement to those who struggle with insecurity while dealing with a mental illness. The encouragement will be what I have learned from the Bible that has helped me and I hope that it will help you too.
The three lessons I have learned that have helped have to do with 1) Identity, 2) Purpose, and 3) Community. My hope is that after reading this blog, you will be encouraged and that whenever you start feeling insecure you will remember what I discussed here.
This topic has been the most important fact for me to grasp because once I truly understood my identity in Christ I stopped caring what others thought of me. Whenever I start having doubts in my mind about who I am I always remind me of what the Gospel says about who I am.
So, what exactly does the Gospel say about our identity in Christ.
Well, for starters, according to 1 Peter 2:9, we are a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Holy means “set apart for God”. This means that we were created for the sole purpose of being God’s possession.
According to the dictionary, royalty means “people of royal blood or status” and it has the picture of kings, queens, princes, and princesses. We know that according to the Gospel that the righteousness of Christ covers us and that is what elevates our status to being royalty. This means that because of Jesus Christ we are on the same level as a royal prince and princess!
When I fully understood what this meant, it radically changed how I view myself.
So when you understand your status in Christ, the next obvious question is “Why did God choose me?” Well, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 answers this when it says,
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of . noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that as it is written ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.”
According to this text, God chose us from the foundations of the world because we were weak and there was absolutely nothing special about us according to worldly standards. We can never say that it was because of anything in us that would cause God to choose us because all we have to offer Him is our sin and depravity.
Even our good deeds are considered like filthy rags in His sight because He is holy and we are sinful. However, God chose us to accomplish His purposes which will ultimately bring Him glory. Our main purpose according to 1 Peter 2:9 is to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light” which means we are to tell people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
No matter what else we do in this life, our primary purpose is to tell people about what God has done for sinful humanity and how they can be made right with God by repenting and putting their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.
Elsewhere in scripture, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. The definition of an ambassador is “an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country”. As citizens of the heavenly kingdom, we are commissioned to be heaven’s official representatives in this world in whatever country or state we live in.
This is a high calling and it is a high privilege for those of us who love the Lord. When you truly understand what this means, it should radically transform the way you conduct your daily lives.
This last thing that has helped develop a better sense of self-worth is being a part of a community. I cannot stress enough just how important this is for stable mental health. We read in the Genesis account that God said it was not good for man to be alone before He created the woman. It is important to note that the Lord said this before sin had entered into the world!
So, if even Adam needed companionship while in the perfection of Eden then how much more do we need community with other people?
For me, the community that has helped me was being part of the local church and my family and friends. A community of people who care for you will be able to recognize when you are not doing too well and will be able to bring it to your attention. They can hold you accountable when you are doing wrong and they can offer you a shoulder to cry on when you are in pain.
I know that in my life if it were not for the local church I would probably not be here today. This is why it is very important to be plugged into a community. I strongly recommend support groups as well because a support group can provide you an outlet to express what you are dealing with with people who truly understand you because they deal with the very same things as well.
I hope that this blog helps you better understand what can help you deal with insecurities while dealing with mental illness. Thank you for reading this. Soli Deo Gloria!
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
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