Confidence is a funny thing. If you’re quiet, shy or timid, you are told to have more confidence. If you’re loud, bold or determined, you’re told you’re prideful. We tend to label someone as cocky or shy based off of how much they talk. We’ve confused confidence with being outspoken.
I have never been accused of being quiet. I come from a loud family, so I am naturally loud. I was raised to speak directly and to speak up or be left behind. That doesn’t mean I’m confident in myself. The problem with all of this is we misunderstand what God calls us to because of the labels that the world puts on personality quirks.
Scripture encourages us to be bold, courageous or confident twice as much as it warns us against pride. Why? Pride comes when we are full of ourselves…I can do it better, I know better, I know more. Confidence comes when we are full of Christ…I can do nothing apart from Him, He is my rock, He directs my path. It is far more important for us to fill ourselves with Christ than it is to be full of ourselves.
If God has told you something, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If God has called you to something, don’t compromise for anything else. If God has promised you something, don’t settle for anything less. I would be foolish if I didn’t warn you that this level of confidence can also a double edge sward though. Be careful not to get full of yourself, refuse to allow the enemy to fool you into justifying your sin and use caution if you throw around phrases like “God told me.”
It took me a long time to develop confidence in Christ because I spent years worrying I would offend someone or I would come across as prideful. Here is what I have learned over the years, what I pray all of you come to know for yourselves and what drives me to be authentic with you all at Come to the Table:
- God can talk to you wherever you are. You don’t have to reach a certain level of Christianity to unlock the hearing form God power. Cry out to Him, He is there!
- You have spiritual gifts. There is nothing prideful about knowing what they are and how God has called you to use them. There’s also nothing wrong with not knowing what they are. God will reveal them to you in His timing.
- You can understand scripture. It doesn’t take a certain amount of education or experience. You only need to find how He connects with you. I’m a history buff. I was able to connect with and understand scripture once I realized it was just one huge history book.
- You don’t have to change your personality to fit a certain mold. Proverbs 31 was never meant to be the hard standard we hold all Christian women to. God made you who you are for a reason. If you’re loud, maybe God wants you to use your gifts to speak boldly. If you’re more shy, maybe God gifted you with a more compassionate heart to listen better.
- You will never be able to connect with everyone. No matter how God created you, you’re going to rub people the wrong way. Don’t dwell on it, dust your feet and move on. Don’t sin in it, but don’t dwell on it. Never stop being kind or loving.