Women, Insecurity, and the Self-Help Gospel

Sharon Hodde Miller | October 4, 2017


I’m concerned we are misdiagnosing insecurity. And as a result, I’m concerned we are mistreating it too.

I first stumbled toward this realization after wrestling with insecurity in several areas of my life. I devoured every book and article I could find on the subject of self-esteem. I read verses about God’s delight in me. I self-talked scriptural truths about my identity in Christ. I did this for months, and at the end of it all, I realized something.

None of it helped.

I knew God loved me. I knew I was made in his image. I knew I was created with a purpose. I believed all these things. Yet none of it touched the depth of insecurity inside me. It wasn’t until I read Tim Keller’s tiny, power-packed book The Freeedom of Self-Forgetfulness that I understood why these messages weren’t working.

The problem, I discovered, was a gaping hole in Christian teaching, especially to women.

Two Sources of Insecurity

I came to realize there are two primary causes of insecurity. The first is one we talk about all the time: low self-esteem. Spiritually speaking, I define low self-esteem as an inability to see ourselves the way God sees us. When our self-image is primarily…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/women-insecurity-and-the-self-help-gospel.