What do you think of when I say "confidence"? Do you know some who display genuine confidence and some that are not so genuine, or rather portrayed? Confident confidence, if there is such a thing beyond the Dictionary of Paula, could be genuine confidence...being confident in your confidence.
Through the study of Behind Those Eyes, I'm coming to realize I have mixed emotions when pondering this word of confidence, what it means to others, in society, and to me. Chapter three in this online study with Lelia is called Ms. Confidence.
The first scripture that came to mind during this reading nd repeated itself in my head is 1 John 5:14-15. I remember memorizing this some years ago in a some Bible study but boy has it stayed with me. It also goes along with the residing theme in my life the last 15 months....asking, believing, receiving. It's a bit of a tongue twister but meditate on this a bit. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.
I find it odd that this scripture came to mind, considering the context of this chapter is not in that direction. I guess I will take that as the Almighty Father speaking to me OR maybe one of YOU need those verses.
I was looking up scripture and another verse "popped" of the page. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13. Wow. Maybe this is a personal message to me (and most likely one of you)...a message of reassurance of His goodness that will prevail in my life and situation...and YOURS. Of course this verse just happens to precede a favorite of mine. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 I just love scriptures that remind me to wait as I am in a long season of waiting amidst the pain.
So, let's look at some of those brain-churnin' questions Lisa asks us. What does having confidence mean to me? Well, I thought I knew until I read this chapter and saw a different view of it. Having confidence to me is seemingly different than what this chapter has explained. Or rather, this chapter properly defined confidence. However, the confidence I desire is not one that is concerned with the outward appearance by others. I don't particularly care if a person "sees" me as confident but rather I desire to "feel" confident within my self...my looks, appearance/clothes, purpose, skills, ability to perform, do a good job, share my thoughts, speak up for what's right, about my relationships, etc. I want to look good for me. I want to excel at work for me. I want to live with purpose for me. I want to be kind to others for me. Does this make a lick of sense? I guess because at times I feel my self-esteem is so low that I am just concerned with raising my own view of myself. I am my own worse critic.
Is there a difference between true confidence and impersonated confidence? Absolutely. True confidence, or as I've labeled it--confident confidence--is being sure of oneself. Someone who has assurance of who he/she is. Impersonated confidence is just a huge mask for insecurity. They are total opposites. One is secure and one is insecure. Of course, as Christians, our assurance and confidence must come from God but we can also feel secure in ourselves, in our skin, in our abilities (provide by God).
To what degree does fear of rejection play into Ms. Confidence's role-playing? I guess fear of rejection could be a significant part of Ms. Confidence. Since I don't aspire to be confident for the benefit of others--that is to mold their opinion of me--then I'm unsure. I don't recall ever portraying confidence because of fearing rejection. But after I read the other blogs, maybe it will jar my memory.
Lisa challenged us to give our own new definitions of six words. At first, I struggled with this. Then with each word, it seemed a scripture or part of scripture came to mind and thus a "definition" followed.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I am fearless because He gives me no reason to fear.
The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Psalm 28:7a
I am strong by His strength.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
I am empowered by prayer.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Psalm 62:7
I am independent IN Christ alone; outside of Christ I am dependent on Him.
But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness...Matthew 6:33
I am emotionally healthy when I put Him first and above all else.
In his heart a man plans his course, but God determines his steps. Prov. 16:9
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I am accomplished when His plans, and not mine, are fulfilled in my life.
The B.Y.E (Behind Your Eyes) questions...
Do I believe I really need only God?
Yes, I do. We really do only need God. Do I struggle with this? Yes, because I desire other people in my life and certain relationships, whether it be spousal, children, girlfriends, family. As women, I think we all desire deep relationships with other women. Most women probably desire a husband and kids. So, I desire to have these relationships but I know now that I don't NEED them. In the human heart, at least for me, it can be difficult to draw the line between desire and need when in comes to certain relationships. I have lived my life feeling I needed others to survive to the point of feeling I'd die without another person. God has proven me extremely wrong. I think until we believe God is all we need, God may shut down, remove, or alter some relationships until we receive the revelation that He r.e.a.l.l.y. IS a.l.l. we need.
Has the fact that I really need only God been tested in my life? Are you kidding, Lisa? That would be a resounding y.e.s.! When my marriage failed and the one believed (still) to be my divine other-half was gone, I didn't know if I could survive. I remember those times of losing my breath, sleepless nights, panic feelings, anxiety, indescribable emotions that I never want to experience in that intensity again. I didn't know how I'd live without this great love God had finally provided me after six long years of waiting. However, God has shown me His love is greater and can sustain the absence of human love, no matter how great, deep, and divine that human love. I am still not absent of deep pain and hopeful desires but neither am I of His love and sufficiency.
The final challenge question didn't seem to be a challenge for me so now I'm wondering "did I get the right answer?"
Is is hard to admit my vulnerabilities in general and to God? Oddly enough, no. I definitely have no problem admitting them to God. For goodness sake, if I don't who will help me? I tell Him in faith that He will make up where I fall weak. Yes, I can admit my vulnerabilities to others also. Through this trial of mine, I have been pretty open on an individual level. I think I've been vulnerable by making certain statements in this post. Though I'm reserved on this open format of a blog, I trust the Lord to use my openness privately, even if I'm too open at times. He is my protector and will shield me from those moments of giving too much of myself.
Confident in Him,