In Chapter 17, Moore draws the connection between insecurity and fear: “Whenever you get hit by a wave of insecurity, the wind driving it is always fear. This is true whether the flare-up is monumental or comparatively mild. The moment you’re cognizant of an outbreak of insecurity, learn to check your heart for what you’re afraid of. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll rarely come away from that diagnostic test empty-handed.”
Moore recounts a little of the devastation that the fear of man has wreaked in her life before sharing how God helped her overcome it. To do this, God led her through a trust exercise “that caused a total earthquake in [her] long-held perception of trust.” In this exercise, Moore discerned the Lord speaking to her in her spirit, asking her to bring to mind her worst fears. After she imagined the worst thing, her nightmare, happening to her, God then asked her to imagine what happened after that. It was only then that Moore realized that God would be there for her on the other side of it.
“It was as if He said, ‘As long as you’re going to borrow trouble on the future, why don’t you just go ahead and borrow the grace to go with it and see yourself back up on your feet defying your enemy’s odds…just as you and I have done a dozen other times.’
Even now I could clap my hands over it. The devil took a harsh blow that day because I’ve never fallen back into that old pattern of thinking. And further, the victory over such a long-term mental stronghold caused me to entertain the thought that I could be equally free from my lifelong battle with insecurity. After all, the two are inseparable. These days I far less often pray, ‘Lord, I trust You to…’ I simply try to say over and over again, ‘Lord, I trust You. Period.’”
Moore then goes back to an important verse for this book, Proverbs 31:25, and discusses how secure women can laugh at the days to come because no matter what comes our way (even the worst thing we can imagine) we can trust that the Lord will work it out for our good, His glory, and we will look on our foes in triumph (Psalm 112:7-8).
While the overall point of this chapter is a good one, the way Moore gets there is problematic. First, I’m not sure that God would tell her that if she’s going to borrow the anxiety and pain for her imaginary troubles, then she may as well go ahead and borrow His grace for them, too. Jesus is clear about what we are to do with our worrying: don’t do it. In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” I cannot recall any verses that assure us of grace for our imaginations.
Second, God commands us not to worry, anxiety, and fear (particularly the fear of man). When we are worried, fearful, and anxious, it is a sin because those emotions demonstrate a lack of faith in God and that other people have an inordinate amount of power over our hearts and minds. Instead, God commands us to have faith, to trust him, to turn to him for help. But Moore does not encourage her readers to attack anxieties and fears as part of an ongoing battle with sin. A word regarding repentance would have been appropriate as a first step for combating them.
On a side note, while reading this chapter I thought of other books: When People Are Big and God Is Small by Ed Welch and Future Grace by John Piper. Moore said that during the research phase of writing this book she couldn’t find many books about insecurity. I think those two are excellent books that would have been helpful resources for crafting SLI, but Chapter 17 in particular. If you’re interested, then I’d encourage you to check out these two books. Also, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges has a chapter on fighting anxiety and worry.
Finally, books are much stronger and their messages are more helpful in the long-term of the readers’ lives when the thesis is solidly based on God’s word rather than the writer’s personal experience. In hard times, reminding myself how God worked in another person’s life is not going strengthen my spirit. While hearing a testimony is encouraging, I’ll need God’s word to sustain me.