Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Less is More

Growing up I was far from Ms. Confident, but lived thinking that's who I needed to be usually because it appeared that's who everyone else was. My shy and insecure self made me believe I would never be this person, which only added to the doubts I already had.

Times have changed and I'm thankful my perspective has as well! Today I'm once again joining Lelia in her study of Lisa Whittle's book, "Behind Those Eyes," and we're focusing on chapter 3 - "Ms. Confidence."

Lisa begins with a great story of a gal playing the game and taking on the role of having it all together, she is the picture of confidence. On the outside at least, but as time goes on the truth is revealed and struggles are shared. How often have I done the very thing? All too often, so much so that in my early years a favorite song contained the lines, "I'm dying inside and nobody knows it but me."

I don't think I had ever thought about the similarities between Ms. Perfection and Ms. Confidence, but they are there. One role feeds into the other. We pretend because we're afraid of what others will think, then when we get them believing maybe we have it together we're forced to pretend some more. It is a vicious cycle.

I could relate so well to Lisa's words about going into the silent treatment and being the "strong one." That's been me for a long, long time. Why exactly I'm not sure, but once again it probably boils down to the idea of what others think. It seems I always thought if I don't talk others won't really know what's going on and so they will think the silence means strength. How far from the truth is that!!!

I'm thankful I've had others in my life who prove how wrong that belief really is! And I'm even more grateful that God has helped me apply that to my life and start living that way. I don't think it's a coincidence but I was just talking about this very thing with a close friend and mentor.

For years I admired Leanne's vulnerability because like Lisa said, "women who are open and vulnerable and real and genuine and without pretense.. Those are the things that truly take strength." I was always afraid of showing emotion and especially never wanted to cry in front of others, but as I watched Leanne do these very things I never once thought she was weak. In a way it really made me realize how weak I was.

That weakness wasn't simply a result of my inabilities, but more so of where I was putting my confidence. As I trusted in my self, there was no way I was ever going to be good enough (so why did I think that would get me to heaven, that's another post!!) There's no wonder there was a constant struggle - thinking I had to do it all and making others believe I could when I knew that was not possible.

As I have realized this more and more these last couple of years I've come to understand confidence for what it really is. It seems the word has a whole new definition. If I truly want REAL confidence I need less self-confidence. Confidence has nothing to do with what I can do, but everything to do with what God can do. It's not about trusting myself, but Him because thru Him I can do all things. What a comforting thought!

The amazing thing is the more I apply this to my life the better it becomes. He is faithful and uses that submission and blesses my obedience. Confidence has nothing to do with me because in reality less is more! And really living in reality is what it's all about!

6 comments:

  1. I love the thought that only real confidence is reliance on what God can do. It is so foreign to our way of thinking, isn't it?

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  2. Jill,
    You summed up the TRUTH of chapter three in your next to last paragraph, and I have a word for you about that on Friday when I post again about this issue. You are so right...less "self" confidence is what He wants from us!

    Thank for you this word...your insights...and continuing on the journey to just be real.

    Lisa :)

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  3. Confidence has nothing to do with what I can do, but everything to do with what God can do. It's not about trusting myself, but Him because thru Him I can do all things. What a comforting thought! I love that you said this...I couldn't agree more and need to remember this when I start doing it myself. Connie

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  4. I loved this,
    "Confidence has nothing to do with what I can do, but everything to do with what God can do."

    This is such a freeing statement. Resting in my confidence in Him.
    Lynn

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  5. How true that Ms. Perfect is wrapped up in what we are taught by the world. I saw that vicious cycle.

    This was such a great post. Your right Less of us More of Jesus.

    Carol

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  6. I really loved your comment about confidence has everything to do with what can do...
    I have experienced both self-confidence and God-confidence. I sure like the "God-confidence" better!
    God bless,
    Heather

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