Facebook posts. "13.1" bumper stickers.
Annual Christmas letters.
Honor Rolls and Dean's Lists.
Prime zip codes.
The list could continue on and on; this is merely a sampling of things that can complicate our confidence. Do you relate? After a winter of sedentary hibernation, I can think pretty poorly of myself when I see one of those half-marathon stickers on a car. Or, when we're struggling at home with basic academic concepts, I can be shaken when others are reveling in their high GPAs. Why can't we keep up with the Joneses? Will I ever be able to do what she does?
This kind of thinking is bound to be prevalent in the world around us. In fact, the world thrives on comparing us with others; this is the foundation of advertising! Yet, I know this is prevalent in the church too. We live in this world--even if we're not of it--and we can quickly become lured away by this kind of thinking.
Our flesh wants to check off the requirements, do the work ourselves and accomplish what needs to be done. We are stopped short when we read this:
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9
What? This isn't about what I'm contributing? This isn't about ME and what I'm doing?
For some of us, this may seem like Christianity 101, but I challenge you to consider whether or not you are possibly falling prey to worldly confidence as opposed to godly confidence. Do you compare yourself to others? Are you finding pride to be prevalent? Is your focus more on yourself than on Jesus? Is praise from man more desired than praise from God?
Because of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf and His resurrection and victory over death, we can have perfect and complete confidence. It is HIS perfect accomplishment that gives us beautiful godly confidence.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5: 21
This kind of truth, this kind of confidence, does not fade away with time. It is not shaken because of difficult circumstances. It is not up to me and my abilities. God has given us His righteousness. This is who we are--righteous--because of Jesus' work on the cross.
Can you be confident because of Jesus?
Will your parenting reflect this or will you waffle in training your children?
Will my walk with Christ show this or will I spin my wheels because I'm just not quite sure God, the giver of all good gifts, will take care of my finances, will give me victory over bitterness or will conquer my fears?
Let's boldly walk out in this confidence that comes from knowing that God is our loving Father and Christ is our perfect righteousness.
(This post was inspired by a wonderful sermon that you can listen to right here.)