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Character Study: Confidence

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop and look fear in the face. You must do the things you think you cannot do.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

How do we become confident?

Some may argue we are born with or without confidence. In other words, it is a personality trait. I can see this point when I look at my children throughout our years of homeschooling. My oldest son often felt right in his wrongness about why he had missed an algebra problem to the futile point of argument. My youngest son is rarely ruffled by life’s ups and downs. They are similar to my husband, who constantly amazes me with his self-assured prowess. My middle son is most like me. He worries he won’t do something right. In his case, he decides not to try. If someone else can do it better, he is more than willing to have someone else do it. I’m less that way. In fact, I would rather try and fail than ask for help most of the time.

But, are any of these scenarios reflecting confidence? Are we just limiting ourselves with lack of confidence or deluding ourselves with overconfidence?

I am studying Gideon right now. He starts out without any confidence in his ability to lead anyone. Tear down his own father’s Baal idol? Bring ten friends. Face the Midianites? Bring 32,000 troops.

Then he watches as God whittles that number down to 300.

Then he goes on a night watch with his servant and overhears the Midianite plan, which matches up with what God told him.

Then he has confidence.

But, confidence in what?

The trumpets, bowls, and torches they use as weapons?

No, he has confidence in God.

So Eleanor Roosevelt is close in her statement. We cannot do the things that require true strength, courage, and confidence. Only God can give us that ability.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. 

2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NASB

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6 NIV

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

1 John 5:14 NIV

So, where do I get my confidence?

Not from me!

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