For a birthday present last year several people pitched in to build Aleigh a tree house with a playground area. One of the parts of this playground is a rope ladder. After watching Aleigh climb it numerous times, Avery – little “Miss Daredevil” decides she needs to give it a try. I watch bemused knowing her ambitious thoughts to scale it would be hindered as soon as she hit the first rung of the ladder, causing it to sway and threatening her balance. Instead, I watched her little knuckles turn white with determination as she gripped the rungs tightly. She accurately compensated her shifting weight. I quickly headed her direction, debating in my mind whether to remove her or continue to see if she could climb it. I decided to let her climb it. Up and up she went. Each rung that she climbed she got more and more confident. But then she got to the top. In order to climb onto the tree house you had to let go of the rungs and reach upward. She knew if she let go she would fall, so she looked to me for help. Up to this point she had relied on her own abilities. Now she knew at this point she needed a helping hand.
Confidence. A word that many seek. I have heard many woman say – “I would like to be more confident….as a mother, in my job, working with others, with my finances…” You fill in the blank. We seek after confidence. Where does confidence fit in when it comes to our spiritual walk? Let’s dig a little deeper into the word itself. In the dictionary confidence is defined in several different ways. Here is the two that really stood out as an oxymoron.
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing
2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance;
The first definition is belief in the reliability of something other then self and the second is all about belief in self. Where does your confidence come from? Many times I believe we think we have our confidence grounded deep in God. We climb up one rung of the ladder after another. Some where in that climb we start to realize how good we are doing. We have accomplished that goal or we are doing really well in that area. Suddenly we start buying into an illusion that it is our ability that got us to where we are. We start buying into that fact that our confidence comes from oneself. We forget where we started and who provides our blessings. Though you may forget, be warned that the illusion will dissipate when you run into an obstacle that relies on more then yourself to get through.
Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.”
So I question you today? Where does your confidence lay? Are you putting your trust in the Lord, putting your full confidence in our Mighty God or is your confidence masked in a self-propelled illusion of strength?
Application: Examine where your confidence lies. Are you living in the oxymoron state where you try to put your confidence in yourself and in God, picking and choosing the affairs you control? If you feel there are areas you have started to self-rely in, give them over to God. Trust Him with it, take your hands off and be blessed.