Today I decided to forgo my usual Monday night Step Zumba Aerobics class to run outside in the sunshine.
It was beautiful. Often while on runs by myself, I think a lot. I daydream. I wander. It revives me in a way.
Today my train of thought went like this.
“Oh, TLC’s Waterfalls is playing from my playlist. This song brings me back to 4th grade( I know!), wait this says the song is from 1996. Has it really been 20 years since I was in 4th grade. Wowzers. Life has changed a lot since I played this single on repeat.”
I know. I am a very random person.
Anyway, that got me thinking about my past, and how through those formidable pre= teen years, I had to find a way to gain confidence.
We talked a little about this subject in Sunday school yesterday, and ever since, it has been in my mind.
I promise there is a point to today’s musings, but I need to circle around before I land.
As I started thinking about confidence, I started thinking about my favorite guilty pleasure TV show.
I know I will probably get my seminary wife card revoked for saying this, but I love The Bachelor.
I always have. Ever since season 1, I have been sucked in. I love the drama, the dates, the roses. It is all highly entertaining to me.
I’m not sure which of you reading this are Bachelor fans, but this season I have observed two very different types of confidence.
There is Olivia’s confidence. There is also the very different confidence of one Lauren B.
For those of you who haven’t viewed, Olivia is confidence supreme. She is outgoing, talkative, center of attention, and always the first to steal Ben away. She refers to Ben as her “husband.” She did get the coveted “first impression rose,” and few other speacial things, but it has all gone straight to her head. Basically believes in herself so much that she will stop at nothing to win Ben’s heart. She is very demanding of his time, and always has to know “where this is going,” She is also insecure, shallow and self-absorbed.
Incidentally, all of these things don’t find her much favor with the other girls on the show.
Then there is Lauren B. Gentle, kind, warm, friendly. She too has had some of Ben’s attention, but it didn’t go straight to her head. She has had a date with him, and doesn’t get visibly upset when he has dates with others. She is calm in their conversations, and trusts the connection they have. She is nice to the other girls, spends time with them, and when there is drama, she is never anywhere to be found.
Both girls have confidence. They both have hope in a situation. Which kind of confidence would you rather have?
I know, you are like “Uhh, Lauren B. . That’s a no brainer.”
I know that seems like the best answer. When it comes down to it though how do you display confidence? More importantly, what is the foundation of your confidence?
Take this passage of scripture for instance:
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—4 but let your adorning be pthe hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 peter 3:3-4 (ESV)
Most people, myself included have viewed this passage and thought, “What I can’t be godly with my braids and gold necklaces? Come on God, you can’t be serious?”
Look at verse 4. I believe this verse has a lot to do with the foundation of the godly woman’s confidence. I notice a few things in this verse.
- The adorning is hidden in her heart. She doesn’t need all that fancy on the outside to prove her worth. Her worth is in Christ and that bubbles out from within. This is an example of someone who has hidden Truth inside and is letting it transform her.
- The imperishable beauty. One day our hair won’t braid so easy. Our clothes will go out of style. We will lose all of the beautiful things that adorn us on the outside. The only thing that will last forever is God and that relationship that we have with him. It can’t be destroyed, lost, taken away, or too right. God’s love is forever.
- The Gentle and Quiet Spirit– Confidence from a relationship with God brings forth these things. To me this doesn’t mean someone is super quiet and soft spoken. It means that through the relationship they have with God, they are able to have peace, to be at rest, to be friendly, and kind to others. They aren’t trusting in their own ability. Instead they are resting with God, knowing that He has fought the battle, he was it all taken care of. The quiet and gentle spirit reflects a spirit confident in God.
Now, I don’t know where Olivia or Lauren B. stand spiritually. I really hope that they both know Jesus, and if not that He is revealed to them.
I know in my own life, there have been times I was an Olivia. Times where I thought if I was loud enough, outgoing enough, aggressive enough, that everything would work out. I used to think confidence had to come from this really extroverted, my talents, my abilities place.
That place didn’t work for me. I just ended up more confused, more insecure, and not confident in anything.
Then, Jesus took hold of me . It’s been a process and has taken nearly 12 years for me to get to this place. I feel like a big lesson this year for me has been placing my confidence in Him.
- Not in my abilities.
- Not in my popularity.
- Not in my awesome closet of clothes, makeup, and shoes.
- Just in Him.
I have noticed in my own life that since I have done this I care less about impressing others, I don’t get as upset when things don’t go my way, I am happier with the way I look/feel, I am willing to take more risks, and I have a peace in my heart, even when things don’t work out.
I feel a lot more like Lauren B.
Learning to place my confidence in Jesus and not my own abilities has not been easy.
I don’t know where you are in this confidence journey today, but I know that I will be praying for you.
- Praying that Jesus will come in and transform your heart.
- Praying for strength when it gets hard to trust him.
- Praying that you will become a person with and “imperishable beauty,” and “gentle and quiet spirit.”
Place your confidence in Jesus. He may not hand out roses at the end of every date, but in Him you have a HOPE, a FUTURE, and ETERNAL SALVATION.
Those things will never wilt.