Posted by Mary Beth Dahl on October 15, 2013
That sweet spot where a person is walking tall, being strong, having dignity and yet is still completely aware of his/her utter helplessness and need for the Almighty to guide the way.
Have you noticed the two camps on self-confidence?
There’s the one camp where people run around trying to prove to themselves that they’re not actually as worthless and inept as they feel. They are constantly trying to fix themselves, and they don’t achieve anything because, well, they just aren’t disciplined enough, confident enough, or brave enough yet. Once they become better people, then God will be able to use them.
And then there’s the other camp. Here the people take pride in their weakness claiming they can do nothing in their own strength, and so they do nothing. They wait. They watch, and they call on God to “make it happen”. They claim that their efforts would just be futile imitations of what the Almighty can do anyway, so they trust in the Lord with all their heart and stand very, very still.
It seems to me that both camps may be stuck in the bog of pride.
If pride isn’t only thinking too much of yourself, but also thinking of yourself too much, then even marveling in a low opinion of yourself qualifies for a pride-check.
Isn’t it time to stand up, be who you’ve been created to be, and see what happens?
The God who formed the Universe, who is able to divide a sea and bring a man back to life, values us, chooses to work through us, and has put his spirit in our hearts. That is no small thing. That is significant.
I have lots of good ideas that I never follow through on. Sometimes I don’t because I don’t know if that’s what God wants me to do or if it will actually work. I want to know the idea will find success and please God, and if I’m not sure, I put it aside and wait for “clarity”.
Our lives are meant to be active, living, moving things. And I believe God uses all of it as he pleases. The only thing he doesn’t really use is me sitting on my butt whining about not being sure what to do next.
Don’t get me wrong.
There are definitely times in our lives when we need to wait. I think too many people make huge mistakes because they are unwilling to wait when they should. So drastic life-course changing decisions, give those time. But whether or not to visit your sick neighbor, try out for the local play, or send off that manuscript don’t really fall into this category.
There’s another camp I failed to mention.
This one is out of sight. It’s moved on already. Its members are instruments of the great I am. These people know who they are, love themselves, and from their full cups are able to blanket the world with truth. They used to reside in the other camps, but one by one, they let go of their excuses and worries and embraced unchanging hope and truth. One by one they made a choice to believe in themselves and in who they’d been created to be. And when they did, they discovered an enigma of truth. That it was in finding themselves that they were fully able to die to the old and embrace abundant life.
Welcome to the new camp, my friends.
Thanks for the reality check, Mary Beth. Arrogance is an obvious sign of pride. But like you said, another sign of pride is waving a sign that says, “I’m a 1-talent servant” or “I’m a 1/2-talent servant” or even “I’m a no-talent servant.” It is so easy to hide behind “I’ve never done that before, so I won’t even bother to try.” It took me reaching midlife before I had the courage to audition for my first community theater play. (And praise God, I got a part!) I wish I’d left that particular bog of pride years ago. The new… Read more »
Way to go with the community theater! That’s super cool. I know what you mean about the bog o’ pride. I have a cabin there, but I’m moving out and on to freer pastures! Thanks for sharing.
Well said. I think it is easy for one to get caught up in either camp and not realizing both are prideful… not seeing yourself for who God created you to be:) Oh the joy of letting go and letting God:) Now, if I could just do that every day!
Oh, the joy of letting go. Just let it go and be wonderful! Woo hoo! It’s good to be completely loved.