Confidence is highly honored and praised in our culture. One of our society’s most well-known quotes comes from Henry David Thoreau, and it shows the esteem we possess for this attribute:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”
As Christians, we have a high view of confidence, too. Search through the Bible and you’ll find more than a few passages that start with the phrase, “I am confident,” or “we are confident,” or “being confident of this.”
Our culture often builds it’s sense of confidence on what we accomplish in life. Have we, as Thoreau suggests, “lived the life we imagined”? Our preparation, our performance, our years of experience, our willingness to authentically “be who we are” — these are the things on which our society recommends we build our sense of confidence.
Our society says that we should stop looking outside of ourselves. True confidence is found by digging deep and looking within. Self-respect, self-worth and self-love all begin with self. And many in our world today believe this.
The Bible also wants us to learn and build confidence. But it suggests an entirely different path to confidence. This path directs us away from ourselves to God.
It’s tough to be confident with consistency when we base our confidence on ourselves. Our preparation is shaky at times. Our performance can occasionally be sub-optimal. What if we haven’t yet built up those years of experience? Or what about those times when we go through seasons of self-doubt, and aren’t really sure who we are?
Confidence is good. But we can possess a confidence that’s far more solid and consistent if we build it on the Lord.
As David writes, the Lord keeps all his promises. He always does what he says he’s going to do. He reaches down to us when we’ve fallen and gives us a hand up. He gives us our daily sustenance, and he satisfies our desires. Take note, he fulfills not just our needs, but even our desires.
Jesus. And Jesus’ accomplishments. Now there’s a solid place upon which to build our confident life.
“The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing” (Psalm 145:13b – 21, NIV).
Lord Jesus, you alone are my confidence. Help me turn away from self to you, to resist the temptation to look at my own accomplishments and instead look to you and your accomplishments as my true source of confidence. You keep your promises, and I know you will open your hand and satisfy my desires.
Our Bible reading for Monday, December 21, is Ezra 7:11 – 8:14, Revelation 13:1-18 and Psalm 145:13-21.
Header image based on "Go Confidently" by Son of Groucho, CC By 2.0