Life indoctrinates men in the art of confidence. From our earliest memories, we find ourselves in one contest or another. The key tool in winning is confidence. We find ourselves infused with an attitude that comes across as brash, arrogant, cocky, bold, and assertive. Some turn away from this teaching. Yet in our best and worst moments, confidence plays a role.
I find an extremely strong correlation between the external confidence flowing from an individual the level of fear, uncertainty, and doubt within. The stronger the confidence comes across the greater the probability a fear lurking within. The link appears to be quite strong. Doubt fuels arrogance. Uncertainty breeds aggression. Unknowns drive people to make cocky decisions. Even boldness finds its birth in a need to be accepted.
I realize my analysis sounds cynical. I would like to suggest that it comes from a different perspective. I find my behavior shaped by what I do not understand and refuse to see. It is ignorance that I let my heart drive my behavior. It is in stupidity that I do not connect my heart, mind, and soul. It is in letting my heart experience what my head knows that I can grasp Hope.
When I acknowledge my fears, uncertainties, and doubts, I open myself up to hearing the wisdom of old; “God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don't be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose.” (Isaiah 44.2) I can stop rushing, simply be, and hear what God has to say to me.
Taking this course of action opens you and me up to a new type of confidence. We can step forward we are weak because of God’s work in and for us. We can approach the present with a sense of being in God, letting the Spirit take the lead. We can move confidently in using compassion, mercy, and hope as our weapons. We have, by God, won. Now is the time for living with this confidence.
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