Thursday, March 19, 2015

On NOT Being CONFIDENT, say what?

You know those types of people who just exude confidence and command attention whenever they walk into a room? I am not one of those people.

In fact, I have felt confident about very few decisions in my life. But I also don't think that is entirely a negative thing. I know that in previous posts I wrote about trying to be more confident in life situations. I still would like to be more confident, however, I also want to highlight some positive aspects about not being overly confident.

1. You are more able to listen to others' ideas. Since you yourself are not sure of the best plan, you engage others' and show them that their opinion is important to you.

2. You have to pray more about everything. Because you often don't feel 100% sure of my decisions, you have to lean into God and seek what he is saying. Sometimes he gives you a clear answer, and sometimes his answer is unclear, but in the asking there is usually another lesson intertwined that he wanted you to learn.

3. Your life is more of a blank canvas. Sometimes a blank canvas might feel overwhelming, but it can also be exciting too.  In not knowing for certain the next step that you are taking, you can envision a multitude of possibilities before you.

For me, it is helpful to separate what God tells me is true in His Word and what American culture tells me is true. Our culture values and promotes people who are confident, even sometimes when those confident people are not the best person for the job. We get sucked into shows like Scandal or the Blacklist, where the most confident actors are the protagonists. We aspire to be like them, confident and sure in our every move, invincible, bottom line wheelers and dealers.

And yet, when I look at what the Bible says about confidence and humility, I read a very different truth.  The only confidence we are asked to have in the Word is not even confidence in ourselves, but confidence in the Lord. Proverbs 3:26-- "for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." In other words, it shouldn't even be about how we think of ourselves, because that's not where our confidence lies.

In Philippians 3, Paul talks more about not being confident in his flesh even though he has every reason to be confident. Instead, he throws off all these things in exchange for something better: "I consider everything a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (Philippians 3:8-9)

I think that confidence has become so elevated in our culture, that we as Christians internalize it as being one of the fruits of the spirit and believe that God wants us to be more confident in ourselves. But in fact, that's not really the point of confidence. He is not calling us to work on ourselves more or better articulate our ideas with more poise. He is calling us to be found in him, and to be confident in Him! It's not actually about us at all, and for this unconfident girl, I find that wildly comforting.

What are your experiences or insights on confidence?

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