I Know I Should Confidently Trust, but HOW?
Congratulations Jody Landon! You’re the winner of the book giveaway! I know you’ll enjoy reading Exhale.
I hate it when someone tells me I should do something without telling me how.
A “should” without a “how” is like a cake without the frosting–simply not worth having. When we know we should do something, but we don’t know how, we’re left with nothing but a soul full of guilt and a life void of power.
A couple of weeks ago I asked women on my social media channels for their input on an article I was writing for Crosswalk, called “Five Reasons Why Every Child Need a Confident Mom”. The answers were insightful, thought-provoking, and wise.
Of course, the “why” question led to the “how” question. It’s one thing to know we should be confident; it’s a whole different animal to learn how. And I’m not just talking about how to be a confident parent, but about how to live with confidence in all areas of life.
Essentially, confidence can be divided into three general categories:
- Confidence in yourself
- Confidence in others
- Confidence in God
But here’s where it gets complicated…
We can be fully confident in one area and utterly insecure in another.
We can feel like we’re crushing it in our professional life, but feel like we’re crashing in our personal life.
We can feel competent as a friend, but co-dependent as a wife.
We can feel comfortable in our relationship with God, but uncomfortable in our relationships with God’s people.
The good news is we can grow in confidence. Here’s how:
Understand that Confidence is Really a Trust Issue
They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. (Psalm 112:7)
Years ago we attended a church where this verse was written at the bottom of a handout informing its members that JP was interviewing to be the Senior Pastor. I remember thinking the verse choice was more than a little odd. Is this some kind of subliminal message of bad news?, I wondered. Honestly, the verse kind of creeped me out. I didn’t want bad news.
I don’t want bad anything. Ever.
JP did not get the job.
I don’t know how intentional the message printed on the bottom of that handout was, but I do know for years afterward I completely missed the point of Psalm 112:7. I focused on the “bad news” part, which left me with a constant feeling of low-grade fear and insecurity–even when things were good. Sadly, I completely missed the healing balm of Psalm 112:7, found in the second half of the verse: “they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.”
For me, the verse read more like, “She sort of trusted the Lord to care for her.” Or “She wanted to confidently trust the Lord to care for her, but didn’t know how.”
2. Trust is a Love Issue
The difficulty with confident trust is that we don’t always feel cared for. People let us down. Circumstances wear us down. Silently, our soul whispers, But I haven’t always felt cared for. I haven’t always felt loved.
And maybe we haven’t been cared for–not by people, anyway. Your spouse may have abandoned you. Your friend may have betrayed you. Your parent may have abused you. Your boss may have used you. Your church, or church friend, may have hurt you.
But let me ask you a question: Are you still here? Are you still standing (even if only barely, at this moment?) If so, behind the scenes, in the midst of the mess, God was caring for you.
God is caring for you. Because God loves you.
Even now. Even in the situation, you find yourself in right now.
Let this truth breathe confidence into your soul.
3. If We Confuse Confidence in Self, Others, and God, Confidence Will Elude Us
When JP didn’t get the job I was tempted to make a mistake many of us make: to confuse the untrustworthiness of people for the untrustworthiness of God (It was a messy situation).
It’s easy to equate the difficulty of a life circumstance with the distance of a living God.
But if we allow ourselves to blur the lines between people, our circumstances, our own baggage, and God, we easily lose confidence in everything and everyone.
Looking back, I can see how God was caring for us in the midst of the mess. How God was caring for me. And you know what? This knowledge increased my confident trust in God for my future.
Don’t remember what you should forget, and don’t forget what you should remember.
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We so easily remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember.
Look back on your life–especially the difficult parts. Consider ways God cared for you, even if people didn’t deliver, or circumstances didn’t pan out. I promise it will increase your confidence and build your faith (And may I just add, in a world where so many have trust issues, this simple exercise could infuse you with the hope you need to move forward right now!)
4. Knowledge + Experience + Success = Confidence
Whether we need to develop confidence in ourselves, in our relationship with others, or in God, confidence develops when we:
- Know what to do and how to do it
- Put that knowledge into practice
- See a positive outcome
If I were a mathematician (which I am decidedly not!) I’d put it this way:
Knowing What to Do + Doing What I Know + Success in What I Do (even a little success!) = Confidence
Let’s say you want to increase a child’s confidence in reading. First, you’d teach the skills they need, then you’d let them read a short phrase and you’d praise their efforts. And then you’d have them read again. What would be the outcome? Confidence!
This same principle applies to you and me.
Let’s say you want to develop confidence in understanding the Bible, or perhaps you want to gain professional confidence, or maybe you’d like to be more confident in your parenting. First, learn what to do, then do it. Repeat until you experience a little bit of success, and voila! You’ve gained confidence in an area you once felt insecure.
If we skip any one of these steps; if we forge ahead without knowing what to do, or don’t apply what we know, or give up too soon, we will never experience the confidence we long for.
Confident trust doesn’t come easy. Life has a way of chipping away our confidence and our trust. If. We. Let It.
But let’s hold on. Let’s hang on to the truth that God loves us, that God called us, that God equips us, that God empowers us. Let us confidently trust the Lord to care.
If you want more information on how to be a confidence mom–or you know someone who could benefit from a little bit of parenting encouragement, check out the article “Five Reasons Why Every Child Needs A Confident Mom”. Share it with a mom you know!
You are loved,