One of the most fascinating characters in the Bible's Christmas saga is King Herod. The Bible depicts how the birth of Jesus affected King Herod in Matthew 2:3, which says: "When King Herod had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." The single greatest gift to have ever hit the earth had just been born, but when the news was brought to Herod, he was too disturbed to acknowledge or appreciate it. Many people today are mentally and spiritually bound by insecurity. Insecurity leads to fear, jealousy, worry, and ultimately conditions like depression and paranoia. In the case of Herod, he was intimidated by the idea that the new baby boy had scripture on his side. The wise men who gave the news of the saviors' birth, informed Herod that this baby boy was the fulfillment of prophecy and would be the one who took over Herod's kingdom.
Insecurity handicaps the mind, by becoming a filter that all thoughts pass through. This makes it so that your vision is blurred. When you are insecure and you hear about another individuals' success, instead of thinking "That's so great for him" the insecure mind says "Why couldn't I have done that?" or "Why does everything good happen to him?". When you're insecure and in a leadership position, the mind believes that everyone around you is trying to become more powerful or intelligent than you.
Insecurity kills. Herod's insecurity lead to the death of others. Herod was so frustrated when the wise men did not return to tell him where Jesus was, that he killed all little baby boys under the age of two in his kingdom, seeking to end the life of Jesus in the process. Insecure people may not do any physical killing, but many try to kill a persons' influence, spirit, dreams, goals, joy, inspiration, motivation, or even their emotions. This is why many young people are involved in bullying, because it enables them to feel powerful by crushing other young people, so that they themselves are never hurt. Insecurity does not just kill others, it can also ultimately take the life of the person who harbors it. Herod eventually died, having never found baby Jesus, killing almost an entire generation of young baby boys in his kingdom, and never successfully being able to rule or lead. He died powerless, defeated, and as a victim to his fears.
The greatest irony in this story is that Herod fought so hard to protect his own kingdom, when Jesus was not even interested in taking it. Jesus came to establish a spiritual kingdom, and had Herod stuck around long enough to witness Jesus in his power, not only would Herod have realized that his position was secure, but also could have secured his place in Gods' kingdom. Insecurity can make you so paranoid that you die from undue worry, stress, and fear. In the process, you also never achieve your unique purpose, because of feeling that you are not good enough, or worrying that someone will take your place.
Jesus came down to earth for everyone, including Herod. Herod missed out on getting to know the greatest gift to have ever been given. He missed his opportunity to be touched by the miraculous hand of Jesus Christ himself because he was so afraid of who Jesus was. We set ourselves free from insecurities when we take the time to acknowledge that all life comes from one source. The same God who endows one with gifts, can do the same for another. No one is more valuable or treasured than the other, and with a world filled with more than seven billion people, I think there is enough room for everyone to have a purpose, and a space to succeed of their own. During this Holiday season, and throughout the coming New Year, don't let insecurity keep you from embracing your gifts, and appreciating the gifts in others.