con·fi·dence \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s , -ˌden(t)s \
Where do you place your confidence?
When you sit down and really think about it, what do you rely on for contentment day-to-day?
Is it in your career? Work or school? Physical appearance? Friendships or relationships? Reputation? Social media sites? Fitness level? Socioeconomic status? Hobbies or talents?
Is it in your ability to perform for other people, to be a good person, to provide for your family?
What areas of your life do you depend on for joy? What do you place your hope in?
What about Jesus?
I would like to say that I always place my confidence in Jesus, and in a perfect world, that’s where it would always lie.
But I so often put my confidence in things that let me down, things that disappoint, things that wither and fade easily.
The other day I was walking outside after a long day at work. I found myself thinking about how “out of shape” I am, and how unsatisfied I am with my body and fitness level. I started to think about all of the things that I used to be able to do when I was sick: how fast I could run, how easily I could do pull-ups, and how little I could eat to get me through each day. I thought about how much happier I would be if I had that part of my life back, if I was doing “better” than I am doing now. I started to tear up a little bit out of frustration and disappointment in myself.
In the midst of this, I heard the Lord say to me, “Emily, where are you placing your confidence? Will you ever be good enough for your own expectations?”
“In my body,” I immediately thought. “And no, I won’t. Nothing will be good enough for the standards that I have been seeing for myself.”
I started crying a little bit more because I knew that I would never live up to my own expectations. My confidence went down the drain because it was placed in something that I didn’t feel was going very well for me. When my own expectations of how I am supposed to look were not met, my confidence suffered.
I let something that is so fleeting and temporary take away from the hope and confidence that I have in Jesus.
And deep down, I know that no matter what size I am, how fast I can run, or how many pull-ups I can do, that it will never be enough for to satisfy my own expectations and my flesh. It’s not good enough now, and it wasn’t good enough when I was in the depths of my eating disorder. Nothing will ever be good enough according to my standards or the standards of this world. I will never be good enough.
As I was processing this, God interrupted and reminded me that by his standards, I am good enough because of what Jesus did on the cross for me. I should be confident from the moment my feet hit the floor to the moment I lay down my head on my pillow because the resurrected son of God, Jesus Christ, lives in me. That confidence cannot be shaken and cannot be taken away from me because it is eternal.
That’s the confidence I’m carrying with me today.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” -1 Peter 2:9