I’ve often been told, “Laurence! Stop over analyzing everything.” “You need to learn to go with the flow.” While over analyzing may not be a good thing, I’ve come to realize, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that my natural disposition to analyze deeply is a gift.
The Lord is walking me through a season of analyzing my actions and most importantly my heart behind those actions. The scripture says,
Be alert and of sober mind.1Peter 5:8
I am not meant to just go with the flow. There is an enemy out there prowling, looking for someone to devour! I will not be easily fall for his schemes. Don’t take things at face value. Dig deeper to understand what is happening in the spiritual realm.
One of the areas the Lord is leading me to explore is my confidence. Yes, confidence. I know confidence doesn’t sound bad. On the contrary, in this world, it is a badge to be worn with honor. To be able to command a room with your demeanor. To be able to face a giant goal with enthusiasm and tackle it to the ground. These things are celebrated in our culture.
I understood this early in life and I quickly mastered this skill. It was like wind underneath my wings that led me to much success.
Is Confidence a Bad Thing?
Am I insinuating confidence is a bad thing? Absolutely not! The definition of confidence is,
The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something, firm trust.Dictionary.com
Confidence empowers us to act in obedience with what we believe. That’s what makes it so powerful. It doesn’t matter how crazy a thing seems to others, confidence empowers you to act in alignment to what you believe.
So I’m not saying confidence is bad. I’m saying confidence in a great thing. In fact, the bible says,
The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.Proverbs 3:26
What is the Root of Your Confidence?
It is not confidence itself that is a problem. But we must look deeper into the source of our confidence.
As I followed my confidence to the root, I found I was confident in my ability to meet the needs of others. I was a professional at earning the honor of others AND this is seen as a great gift.
Someone once said, “Laurence, you’re like a chameleon. You know how to fit in anywhere, with anyone.” She was absolutely right. I’ve mastered reading people and quickly learning to speak their language. I know how to tell them exactly what they want to hear. I’m sure she meant it as a compliment but a compliment it is NOT. The bible says,
Do not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:2
I was a confident conformer (to the world). I mastered how to consistently show up as the best of what people expected; all the while being someone they could relate to.
I was confident because I knew how to fit it. I knew how to not make waves; how to please others.
But do you want to know a secret? Deep down, I knew I didn’t fit in. I never felt like I was “one of them.” I just didn’t want anyone else to know it. For people to know that would instantly zap me of my confidence.
Performing for an Audience of One
Ironically, that is exactly where the Lord wants me. To surrender my reputation to him. To surrender my right to be liked by others, to him. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches to,
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.Matthew 6:1
At the age of 21 when asked what motivated me, I pridefully responded, “To be the best, to know that I’m the best and to have everyone know that I’m the best.” That saying stuck with me and framed most of my 20’s and 30’s.
Now I realize it’s unsustainable and can never be satisfied. Years spent chasing the wind. I’m tired and find my rest in God. I am thankful for the renewal of my mind. Thank you, Lord, for teaching me and changing my heart.
Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth, ‘Father,’ for you have one Father and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.Matthew 23:5-12