What’s Wrong With Being Confident?

Do you ever find yourself working over a particular word or idea and then finding it everywhere you turn around? Lately the term “confidence” has been swirling in my mind. The thought of it, the intentionality behind it, where it derives from within us and where I actually place mine.

The more I have given space to confidence, the more I have wrestled with my own. What it is defined by and what it is placed in.

I think over time we find ourselves putting our confidence in alot of things don’t we? The relationship, the friendship, the beliefs we were told, and even in ourselves. We become really good at putting our confidence, this firm trust in everything outside of the one thing we should.

And that’s where I find God.

His steadfast nature. His true and faithful promise. All that He is exactly where my confidence should be. Where I should remain, knowing, trusting, believing.

I look at David’s words, as I stumbled across them, scribbled in the margins of a book I am re-reading as he cried to God in the cave, as Saul sought his life. He cries out in praise of God: “My heart is confident in You, o God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing Your praises” (Psalm 57:7).

Can I say the same? Do the praises I pour out come from a confident heart in Christ? Or do my words betray me? Do my actions and life lived out point to a heart confident only in self, in what I can do and accomplish, in my own merits? Or is it confident in that position, that title I have or want? Is it placing a good and beautiful gift of steadfast faith in something that is bound to perish and fall away? That will never fulfill the expectation that confidence heaps upon it?

I have placed my confidence in many ridiculous things over the years, including myself more times than I’d like to admit. But when I come down to the root of it, to the root of me, I have to be consciously aware and choosing the steadfast faith I have in the God who is forever the same, and not a changing, flitting heart of my own.

So what is wrong with being confident? Not a thing when it’s a confidence that comes straight from Christ Himself, and a confidence that is in Him alone.

How A Fifth Grade Boy’s Words Still Harm.

photo(1)That’s me, in fifth grade, at honors day. The day marked the end of being in elementary school and the start of big, bad middle school. This photo is in my scrapbook from my school years, and I put it there. But this photo doesn’t hold a good memory of that day for me. In fact, it brings back a flood of emotion as I look at it. Not because of the white tights and white shoes worn in May, we’ll leave that alone for now. Or the incredibly large headband that can be seen from at least 20 feet away…because really?! 

No, the reason why this photo is hard to look at and remember that time is because as I got to the end of that stage I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom. Moments before as my name was called for academic achievement award, the boy who was sitting in front of me at the assembly made a remark to me about how I looked and that it was only fitting I would get an academic honor since I was fat and ugly. This boy wasn’t a necessarily mean boy to me in the past, we weren’t exactly friends either…but he said it with such disgust and meanness that it stuck.

Twenty years later and those words still sting.

His words, however flippant a 12 year old is in what they say, stuck. They stuck so much that they formed my self-confidence in all things (or lack thereof to be honest) for the greatest part of my life. In fact, I still struggle moment by moment with self-confidence. I question relationships, friendships, projects, writing, and even who I am in Christ because of those words.

Why do I give them meaning? Why do I allow them to have context and power in my life?

This is what I have been praying and dwelling on the last few days as I face those words head-on. As I face that 12 year old boy sitting at the table in front of me.

No one has the right to tell you that you aren’t significant. NO ONE. God breathes truth into you that you are significant to Him. You matter to Him. Why then am I allowing, choosing even, to let someone else tell me different? When I give power to others, I am essentially telling God He’s not enough for me. His truth doesn’t fit with my belief and I shrug Him off. Even as I typed that, it looked ridiculous, because I would never say that to God…but I am when I let those words put context into my life, in my actions, in my heart.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.- Zephaniah 3:17