I was just considering my insecurities, and I realized that the reason I am drawn to some leadership roles is because I’m still trying to find validation outside of God. Singing can be this way for me. Anyone else do that out there?
I spent a few minutes writing about the difference between seeking God for the sake of our egos instead of being willing to pursue where he leads us. I’m still a little struck by how often as humans we attempt to strive after vindication that as Christians, we’ve already recieved. It is the same idea of seeking favor from God or his approval in ways that are unnecessary or distracting. The scary thing about this practice is that it’s an undercover kind of sin. You don’t always notice where you find your self worth, but I get the feeling it’s the same place we store our fear. This way, it’s just less obvious.
The good thing that came from pondering the extent of this particular sin in my own life is examining what it means to be blessedly confident. In honor of how easy it is to feel divided as a society and as a church family, I want to take a moment to discuss healthy confidence in my perspective.
Confidence isn’t necessarily being strong, or having any of your present or previous failures changed. After a while as you get older, you begin to notice those things in yourself that do not change. For example, I’m very competitive. Although being competitive and driven doesn’t mean I have to apologize for knowing what I want (which can be a trap as a female), I don’t always know how to wear confidence in that.
Whether or not I realize it, confidence can be a place of respect for both myself and others. God can teach us how to be both firm and kind, out of his strength. Part of what makes many people overbearing and blunt is the belief that if they were to genuinely wear their own strength, other people would strongly resent or protest to that, but that just isn’t true. You can be confident and kind and still leave space for other people. Our lives don’t have to be as simple as that.
You can be brave but approachable, nice but guarded, reserved but well-spoken, considerate but one to employ the corresponding boundaries if a good friend. You can be wrong but dignified, respectful but angry, terrified but steady, new but under self-control. You can welcome others without making things all about yourself, listen without inserting a single word in edgewise, enjoy laughter but remember what it means to hold on to courtesy. You can be strict but flexible, understanding but accountable, and not one of these things has to be a point of prooving yourself. You can have all these blessed contradictions and take ownership of them. They are the happy byproduct of confidence in good measure. What others see is what they see. These kind of contradictions help you become more flexible and more able to be used for the sake of the gospel.
The world as it stands eggs it’s participants into aggravated extremes, but that manner of being is not often helpful. You can be direct without taking anything away from others. It isnt ruthless to pursue what you care about simply. It is more helpful to consider even your attitude and perspective as something that can be used to bless your surroundings. How we pursue what we care about has a noticeable effect on others more often than we realize. Allowing one’s contradictions to just be is a softer, more comfortably worn form of confidence that doesn’t diminish from anyone.
Like the rationale behind being a team player rather than an MVP, it is often better to be a follower than a leader, and encourage others through cooperating with them in that way. In terms of Kingdom mission, a person who can be both exalted and made low is of greater immediate use. As a family, the church is best served when we understand the importance of flexibility and remember God before ourselves and our insecurities. I think he probably likes it better that way, and as you might imagine, it is better for us.