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"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win." » I Corinthians 9:24

What makes you valuable?

Awards you have earned? People’s positive opinions of you? A girlfriend who thinks you’re attractive? Cool clothes? That expensive iPhone?

Where you find your sense of significance has far-reaching implications for your life. It revolutionized my entire character as a young man. Let me tell you how it began.

The Death of My Olympic Dream

As the horn sounded the end of the second period, I got up from the mat. Suddenly, pain pierced my concentration. I almost fell back to the mat as my right knee buckled underneath me. In a second, thoughts raced through my mind. What had happened to me? Should I forfeit and concede defeat?

The months that followed soon revealed a devastating reality: I would never wrestle again.

In fact, this injury affected all my sports competition. It doesn’t take much to fill a young man with inflated dreams of the Olympics. These dreams had occupied a large part of my life. I lived for sports—until then.

I struggled to know why the God that I had recently given my heart to was “destroying my life.”

Over the months that followed, God chose not to reveal answers to my “why” questions. Instead, He began to redirect my focus more completely to Him. Could I trust Him to lead me and do what was best?

Insecurity: The Struggle No One Thinks They Have

I need to warn you. Most men do not believe they wrestle with insecurity. The frank reason for this denial is that the admission of having such a problem feels so very un-masculine. Nothing, however, is further from the truth. As a pastor very involved in discipling men (young and old), I believe this is the number one problem in becoming Real Men.

Let me give you a definition of insecurity: It is finding our value in things or people’s opinions so that when those things are taken from us or people’s opinions of us change for the worse, we feel devalued, inadequate, and less significant. Our sense of value, then, is not secure.

Below is a list of some symptoms of insecurity:

  • Pride
  • Self-centeredness
  • Boastfulness
  • Fear of failure
  • Argumentativeness
  • Jealousy
  • Lack of openness about sin or weakness
  • Defensiveness

Did Jesus Struggle With Insecurity?

We all tend to use our accomplishments, our possessions, our looks, our intelligence, our personalities, our job statuses, or our abilities to win people’s favor at times. We want people to like us. We want them to think we are special, important, and successful. We often live for this.

Jesus did not do this. His value did not come from what He did or even what He said. It came from who He was, the Son of God, loved by the Father from all eternity, which could NEVER change.

It was a rock-solid truth that Jesus, while being mocked on the cross, grounded Himself in. The world’s opinions could not nullify His knowledge of the Father’s love, so Jesus cared little about men’s opinions.

Therefore, if I could be grounded in Christ’s love for me, my wife could speak truthfully into my life and I would not feel the need to defend my value. Being wrong does not lessen God’s love for me or my value. I could listen to any rebuke and be teachable, not argumentative.

How to Annihilate Insecurity

Every time anger flares up in you, jealousy clouds your reasoning, feelings of rejection cause you to nose-dive into self-pity, or any of the number of symptoms of insecurity surface, allow that emotion gone awry to serve as a red flag to you.

Pause and ask yourself this one very important question: “What aspect of Christ’s love am I failing to grasp at this moment?”

Reflect again upon this truth of God’s resolute, lavish love. Drink it in like the sun scorched land receives rain. Thank Him for it and choose a different course of action. Refuse to go down that old, rocky road again.

The enemy wants to take you down. Wrestle with him to the buzzer. As you humble yourself in this process and avail yourself to God’s empowering grace (James 4:6), don’t hesitate to slam your enemy’s shoulders to the mat. I promise you, a rich reward awaits you at the awards platform.

Excerpt from The Making of Real Men by Mike Curtis. Copyright 2015. To purchase this book, visit Or you can buy the e-book version at


Mike Curtis founded Powerline Community Church more than 18 years ago in the Lake Mary/Sanford, FL area. The atmosphere at Powerline reflects his passion for discipleship, the local church, training leaders and the next generation, worship, and evangelism. Mike speaks at homeschool conferences on raising real men. He is married to Meredith, the woman of his dreams, and has five incredible children.

© 2014 Finish Well Conference
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