Crisis of Confidence

    I consider myself to be a pretty confident person. Last week, for instance, I visited another church. I walked in, alone, without a bit of trepidation. To some, that may not seem like a big deal.  But, to others, it is a VERY big deal.
    On another day of the same week, I  went to a Toastmaster's meeting for the first time.  Instead of just observing, I accepted the challenge of doing an impromptu speech.  I'm guessing that probably came as a shock to most, if not all, of  the members, there. But, I was at a meeting devoted to speaking, after all, and I do so love to talk!
    May I tell you, however, that even the most confident of people are not confident in certain situations. And sometimes, we loose our confidence over the most trivial things.
   Case in point:  Tonight I did my weekly shopping at Aldi's.  But first, I spent some time once again looking for a dress for my daughter's upcoming wedding. I didn't realize what time it was, and they close at 8:00 p.m.  All of a sudden, I became aware that things were pretty quiet and still.  I was a little over halfway finished when it dawned on me to check the time.  It was closing time!
   I rushed around, as best as I could, to pick up the final things on my grocery list and find boxes, so I wouldn't have to pay for bags.  Of course, I couldn't find the boxes that I needed, so I had to empty some.
   When I went to check out, there was one cashier, and no one else.  I was embarassed and apologized. She accepted my apology, but  that's when it happened!  My confidence went down the tubes.  Strange, huh? I think so, too. Actually, though, as I consider the definition of confidence (belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities)it makes perfect sense.  I had demonstrated that I couldn't be trusted to get through the store and make my purchases on time.  I had failed at a seemingly very simple everyday task.
   Perhaps you struggle with confidence.  Hopefully, this little story will put your mind to rest a little bit, knowing that you are not alone.  We show up to a party and are inappropriately dressed; either over or underdressed in comparison to the rest of the group. We suddenly realize that there is a stain on our shirt, or a tear in our sleeve, and we hadn't noticed it.  Now, there is no time to return home and change, so we have to make the best of it. These scenarios happen to everyone.
   What if you chronically feel underconfident?  Then the best thing to do is discover why.  Is it because you don't feel as smart as others?  Then do something about it. Work on increasing your vocabulary.  Take a course.  Watch documentaries. Read books.
   Is it because of your looks?  Watch youtube videos on fixing your hair or makeup.  Get your teeth fixed.  Get some exercise.  Even if you don't lose any weight, you will carry your body differently and that will make you feel better.
   Some things, you cannot change or correct.  Instead, you will have to work on acceptance. I once talked to a woman who was distaught because she was a woman of color.  To her, I would say, Psalm 139:13 -14. For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
   When our confidence rests only on ourselves, we are in troubled waters.  What if you rely on your beauty, but you're in a horrific accident?  I think of Marilyn Monroe, a woman highly favored for her physical attractiveness, and yet, her life ended in suicide.
    I think of Elvis Prestley, the king of rock and roll, and yet he died of an overdose.  No amount of fame or fortune can satisfy the soul.  
    You can bet neither were feeling very confident at this point in their lives.
In order to have a deep sense of security, we need to have our lives built on the solid rock, Jesus Christ, himself, not the shifting sands of popularity, power, or prestige, to bolster ourselves. 
    A relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords raises us to a new level - one that can't be shaken at its core. Then, despite those benign setbacks, we can strengthen our limp hands and weak knees (Hebrews 12:12).  We can laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25). We can know that in the midst of defeat, despair, and gloom, our God reigns.  I can't think of anything that could give more confidence than that.


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