In my years of working with children and then having my own, I see patterns that occur in certain personality traits.
Most often in my office I work with children who struggle with self-esteem and self-worth issues. Because of their struggles I get to hear all of their wonderful accomplishments. They seek my approval so they want to showcase everything that is ‘good’ about them. Even the most gruff child wants my to hear my, “Good job! That’s awesome! You’re so…”
This was me to a T when I was little! I felt the need to share my good works so that others could pat me on the back. But then I was met with the concept of bragging. Unfortunately, somewhere I confused bragging and confidence. I believed the lie that the two were the same and both were bad. Yet I still desired the accolades to fill my worth. And that lead to shame.
As I got older but still new in my faith, the concept of humility furthered my struggle with confidence. I didn’t know or understand how the two could co-exist.
I sought to follow God’s desire for me and to take His words to heart.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB)
Again, however, my desire to experience worth would push out humility and lead to bragging once more.
As this disparity weighed heavy on my heart I prayed for understanding. To grasp where I had gone wrong and how to please God but not struggle with emptiness at the same time.
Honestly, part of the answer came to me in the dictionary. I looked up the word confidence. The primary definition that I had come to understand was a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
But I found another definition, the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
Friends, that was my struggle, I was searching for a truth about myself that I wasn’t feeling certain of.
I needed to fully grasp God’s love for me and my importance to Him!
I would be lying if I said I had immediate transformation. It took years for me to allow God’s truth to resonate with me. To know that I was good enough for God’s love and to be confident in that truth. I believed it for others and even counseled them to know their worth through His love!
I can be so dense sometimes!
But God is persistent in His pursuit of us! Over the years His words that I have read time and time again have hit me anew when I have been ready to receive them. And each time it broke down lies that I had believed. In its place confidence has grown.
This knowledge has helped me to understand humility more fully as well.
You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:13-17 (NASB)
I love working with children and adults who exude this humble confidence. They don’t need my accolades. They are ready and willing to care for and serve others because they know who they are in God’s eyes. Their need for my therapy supports is often short lived. They tend to only need a reminder in who loves them. Whose child they are. And a few extra tips on how to endure whatever life situation is being thrown their way.
I pray that each of us strives for this humble confidence as we carry the truth of our worth in God’s love.The truth is, humility and confidence can co-exist. #Thrive @humfaithfamwell Click To Tweet
Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife and mommy of two pretty neat kids. She loves providing others with practical tips on how to have a closer relationship with God. When Melissa is not working or writing, she enjoys movie night and homemade popcorn with her family. You can read more of Melissa’s articles on her site humblefaithfamilywellness.com
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