I think my word for this summer is cultivate. Not just in my writing, but in my heart as well. There are so many areas of life and faith in which I want to grow, but the only way that growth will happen is if I cultivate it, allowing God to teach, challenge, prune, weed, and water.
So sticking with this word, we’re now going to dive into a series on cultivating confidence. Not just self-confidence, but Biblical confidence, looking at what God’s Word has to say about being confident, and about growing in confidence.
Confidence means “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”
Throughout Scripture, we are called to live with confidence. We are called to boldly live Christ-like lives, not being held back or chained down by fear. We are called to step out in faith and to courageously stand firm in our beliefs.
We here a lot about having self-confidence. But having self-confidence can be really, really, really hard. Because I’m not perfect. But what if, instead of focusing on being self-confident, I focused on fully trusting God? What if I was to put my confidence in God’s power and trustworthiness, relying on His strength and wisdom, not my own?
Because that is the confidence the Scriptures call us to. A confidence that is found in placing our trust and hope in Jesus, and in submitting to His will.
We see the sayings, beautiful scrawled on pretty backgrounds to inspire confidence:
Be bold. Be brave. Be you.
Be - You - tiful
Such phrases are inspiring, but we must never forget: confidence to be you is found in living for the God who made you.
True confidence - the fearless, courageous, firm confidence we see described in Scripture - isn’t found in me just deciding to be okay with who I am. It isn’t found in me simply loving myself or embracing my imperfections or not being ashamed of my flawed body. True confidence is found in choosing to live as who I am in Christ. It is found in choosing to love Jesus and embrace who He calls me to be, not being ashamed to live for Him and to obey His Word. Because that is the me I was created to be.
And when we choose to live as who we were created to be, we can have confidence in how we were created - loving ourselves, embracing who we are, not being ashamed - because we have confidence in our Creator. We trust His plan for our lives and His ability to work in us and through us.
In Philippians 3:4-6, Paul wrote about all the reasons he had to be merely self-confident: he obeyed the law, he was zealous, he was a Pharisee, he was Jewish and not a Gentile. All things that would qualify him as good and holy according to the religious rules.
But in the next verses, Paul says that all these qualifications were nothing when compared to knowing and following Jesus. And all these qualifications wouldn't really bring about true, holy living. Only trusting in Jesus would. Only placing confidence in His ability and righteousness would. (Philippians 3:7-11)
And later in Philippians, Paul writes some of the most confident words one could:
Paul was confident he could do everything he was called to do, despite imperfect circumstances and situations. Paul wasn’t able to say this because he was confident in himself; he was able to say this because he was confident in Jesus. He was relying on the strength of Christ, not his own abilities, and that is what gave him the confidence to share the gospel, to start churches, to train pastors, to confront false teachings, and to keep following Jesus even in the face of hardships and persecution.
Often, worries about what others might think, fears of failing or of not being good enough, insecurities about my abilities or personality or looks, can hold me back from really living. But when I rely on Jesus’ strength and power, my fears and insecurities are powerless. My desire to please God outweighs the people-pleasing and the success-searching. His love for me - the real, deep-down-inside me - gives me the confidence to be myself.
What about you? Are fears and insecurities holding you back from really being you?
Let me encourage you: I don’t know if the fears and insecurities will ever fully go away this side of heaven, but I do know that God intentionally created you as you and that He has a purposeful plan for your life. When you choose to trust this and to listen to Him and not your fears, that grows confidence in you heart; confidence to be bold, to be brave, to be the beautiful you only you, through Christ, can be.
The post Cultivating Confidence Part 1: The Confidence to Be You first appeared on The Overflowing