According to the classic college developmental psychology subject, Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, security (safety) is one of our main basic human needs. We need to feel that there is order, fairness and stability in our world. We want to be healthy, have job security and feel safe in our community.
When we moved into our new house we were sent a brochure soon after by a home security company wanting us to install their alarms so that we wouldn't have to worry about burglars or other unwanted guests. Part of that was appealing--just to know we didn't have to worry about our place when we were away, or that I could feel at ease when my wife was home alone.

I just finished Christ Seay's book The Gospel According to Jesus: A Faith that Restores All Things (a book I received in exchange for writing a review about it). As I was reading it, at one point I began to wonder--I don't remember what provoked the thought, but I jotted this down in my notes--if security at times becomes an idol to us. Do we seek security more than we seek God? Do our fears drive us to God or toward locks on our doors?

Part of feeling safe and secure for many of us is not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. We want people to like us; we don't want them to think we have problems; we have to give the appearance of having it all together. Security seldom builds community--neither the deadbolts on our doors nor the locks on our hearts.

I am grateful for a church community that takes risks. Safety is important, but it doesn't trump trusting God or being authentic. Last night at church instead of our regular prayer time where we partner up and share our needs with an individual our pastor felt the Spirit saying to do a time of prayer where those who needed to could enter into the center circle and say, "God, I need your mercy because ________."

Of course, we all need God's mercy. We all have sins. We all have struggles. It's easy to generalize those, but it's hard to stand before others and put a name to your struggles and sins. But people did. And it was powerful. And it was vulnerable. In many ways, standing in that circle wasn't secure. But it was safe nonetheless. Sometimes there is safety in taking risks--risks like opening your soul to others or in stepping out in faith to give away a large sum of money or to leave a comfortable job. The safety comes in knowing you're in God's will.

In His will--in His love--there is no fear. But to be there we can have no other priorities (idols), not even security. In Him alone must we trust. And only in His arms will we truly be secure.

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