Friday, March 11, 2016

Freestyle Friday - Confidence


Why is confidence important?

I'm not talking about ego. But as a woman who has walked around long enough with what I call "false humility" ... beating myself up in the name of not being proud ... I want to explore what age and perhaps even a touch of gentle wisdom has begun to teach me about confidence.

Hearing me beat myself up does not help those around me feel vulnerable. It makes them think things like "Wow, if she thinks that about herself, what does she think about me?"

Jesus said that on two commandments hung the law: to love the Lord God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-40) And how, Amanda, does this relate to confidence?

First - the only way to have unshakeable confidence is to place your confidence in something that is unshakeable. The only One who is unshakeable, unchanging, dependable, reliable, and constant is God. We have to know Him and continue to seek Him, draw ever closer to Him, to have any kind of confidence. True confidence ... not walking with your head tall, heels clicking, intimidating everyone around you but going home and crying in the shower and trying to hold back time by pulling at the ever lengthening crow's feet sprouting at the edges of every smile.

To love your neighbor as yourself implies a certain amount of self-preservation. It isn't wrong to take care of yourself. We are to pour out our lives for others, but even the early disciples admonished one another to take care as they worked to spread the Gospel:


Being confident about what we believe, and our place with God, allows us to share our faith without being defensive or antagonistic. It allows us to serve others without judgement. It allows us to know when we are responsible, and when it is ok to walk away because we cannot be responsible for everything.

We are rarely responsible for the words and actions of others. Our part is to do our part. We may not always reap the harvest ... we may be the one planting the seed. 
Confidence allows us to go out into the world and deflect the poisonous barbs that will be hurled at us. It allows us to explore our beliefs without being afraid they will fall apart.

Searching only the NASB version of the Bible (the one I use the most often because it is the most literal translation and I just don't know Greek) the words "stand firm" came up a dozen times just in the New Testament. Though my favorite is from Galatians:



When you feel self-conscious ... I admonish you to take it to God. Don't take that yoke on your own shoulders. Focus on Him and let Him lead you to the good works He has planned for you. If the lack of confidence is due to something you are lacking He will show you. I've found the closer I am to Him the more I gain my confidence in unfailing Him instead of fallible me.

If it is worth doing and within His will it will not fail, so be bold!




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