This week I have been thinking a lot about how confidence fits into the Christian life. Often we hear about pride and humility because it is so easy to clearly identify scriptures that encourage humility and condemn pride, but where does confidence fit in, if at all. I will cover pride and humility at a later time, but I want to specifically focus on confidence today.
Firstly, I’ll describe what I consider confidence to be. To me confidence is a state of fully believing or knowing something to the degree that it is very unlikely you would entertain opinions of the contrary. Or in short, confidence is living in light of the truth. For example, if I am confident that my husband is a hard worker it is highly unlikely I will give someone the time of day if they were to imply he is lazy. If I am confident I am an intelligent person I will probably not give weight to the opinion of someone who says I am stupid.
Confidence is different than pride in that it does not smack of arrogance. Confidence is willing to listen, but is still aware of truth and will not allow obvious falsities to affect that truth.
So, if confidence is living in light of the truth does it fit into the Christian life? Absolutely.
While there might not be a single verse that says “thou shalt be confident”, there are many verses which encourage our confidence as children of the King. We over and over are encouraged not to be afraid because the Lord is our helper and we have not been given a spirit of fear. We are reminded of God’s grace and power at work within us and told to be assured of our salvation. We are told to go boldly to the throne of grace, and told to ask freely of God. I could list twenty or more verses which give us something to be confident in or thankful of, and even more that tell us not to be downcast or fearful.
So, I think it is safe to say that God desires his children to walk in confidence. Not confidence in themselves, but confidence in their position that He has given them. Once we accept Christ we are grafted into his house, we are a royal priesthood, we are sons and daughters. We are to live differently. A prince does not walk in fear when his kingdom is strong, he knows that he and all that is important to him will be safe and secure.
Why do I even share this? Because I think there is a huge portion of the body of Christ that thinks living in humility is living as a downtrodden individual. I can’t tell you how many Christians I know who constantly bring up sin in their lives as an excuse to negate their value or at the very least remind themselves of how worthless they are apart from Christ.
They are right, you are in a dark place without Christ… but guess what… YOU AREN’T THERE ANYMORE. HALLELUIAH! You aren’t a sinner anymore. Your sin has been taken away. I don’t care what you’ve done, it is no longer you… the Bible tells you that you are now righteous and holy. You are not doing God any favors by slinking around with your head low pleading for forgiveness from something that has already been forgiven.
Does this mean we don’t sin, of course not. But guess what, that doesn’t make you a sinner. Sound wacky? It shouldn’t. That’s what scripture teaches.
I put it this way to a friend. Let’s say prince William gets some wild idea in his head and decides to go live as a beggar on the streets of London. He puts on beggar garb, denies all royal privileges and sits as a beggar on a street corner for years. Is he still a prince? Yes! Is he acting like one? No. But that doesn’t change the fact he is one.
When we are saved but make a choice to sin, we have put aside our righteous robes for a beggars cloak… but our identity doesn’t change. I’ve known Christians to essentially live most of their lives in the position of a beggar when their identity is that of a prince. Again, you are not doing God, or the world, any favors living like that.
The world needs Christians to stand up and act like the royalty they are. The world knows shame, what the world doesn’t know is forgiveness and true reconciliation. We are reconciled to God and can walk confident of our position in His eyes. When you sin recognize that the sin is not you anymore. You are not a sinner, you are royalty. Right then and there stop, thank God that isn’t who you are anymore and turn from that choice. Forgiveness is yours already. Recognize when you are not living according to your station and turn, but don’t walk around acting like you have to “re-earn” forgiveness. Thank Jesus for the work he already did on your behalf.
Jesus died so we could be confident in our love relationship with him. He will not make us put on sack cloth and ashes every time we sin because he no longer sees that sin. The world needs to see how he has made a change in us. Remember who you are, choose to live as royalty, and walk confidently.
If confidence is living in light of the truth than be assured that you are in the right to walk joyfully and peacefully as the saved, royal person you are. I think it is very likely that Jesus’ heart is happy when he sees his kiddos living happily in their conviction of their right relationship with him. Walk confident brothers and sisters!