For a while now, I've been wanting to do a personal study on the topic of confidence. What is confidence? Is it good or bad? What does the Bible say about it? As one who suffers from anxiety, the topic of confidence intrigues me because it is the exact opposite of anxiety. It embodies everything anxiety is not. But other than that, I didn't really know much until I recently did some quick reading about it and discovered how much comfort and encouragement there is to be uncovered through a study on confidence. So, over the next few days (or weeks), I'd like to invite you to join me for this study. I have no idea how long this journey will be or where it will lead because I'll be learning as I go, but with God's Word as our guide, I know we'll glean some applicable truths.
Let's begin with the basics. What is confidence? According to the online dictionary, the word has a few meanings. For example, confidence is "a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities." In the eyes of the world, this is what confidence is all about. It involves having a high self-esteem and self-image. It's about holding your head high because you know you're unstoppable. This self-confidence, however, often leads to arrogance, conceit, and self-centeredness. And though the world adopts this definition as the best, it is not the primary or even the secondary definition of the word, confidence. Nope, it ranks third.
Here are the first two definitions of confidence: "(1) the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust, (2) the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. Synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction" Now we're talking!
If I've learned anything in my 41 years, it's that I cannot depend on anyone or anything but God. Yes, I have a fantastic husband, a wonderful family, and a loving church, but they are still human and make mistakes just like I do. They can disappoint or give bad advice though I'm certain they don't intend to do either. It's just a fact. People make mistakes! And as for things, well, they're temporary. Houses come and go. Jobs come and go. Money. . .well, it seems to mostly go, but you get the point, right? I cannot place my trust in these things nor can I place it in myself. I don't know if you've noticed, but I mess up from time to time. If I'm depending on family, friends, possessions or even myself to get through life, there's going to be a lot of heartache and anxiety.
To truly have confidence in something, we have to believe that thing (or person) is worthy of our trust. We have to know we can rely on them. We must be certain that, no matter what happens, that person (or thing) will never, ever let us down. And there's only One who fits that description. To get through life, we don't need self-confidence; we need God-confidence. We need to believe in and on Him every hour of every day. We need to trust Him in every area of our lives and fully surrender everything we are and everything we have to His gentle care. Then, when troubles arise, we can be confident. Not because we have all the answers, but rather because we're trusting in the One who does.