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Tag: Humility

man adjusting tie

Designed for Humble Confidence

Oh, Lord, it’s Hard to be Humble When you’re Perfect in Every Way is a song by country singer Mac Davis that my dad used to sing to my brother and me with a smile and a teasing glint in his eye. The lyrics are a satirical look at the life of being a rock star. If you listen to the words about enjoying looking in the mirror or how he’d have a girlfriend, but the women are in awe of him, you’d either shake your head or chuckle at the egotistical self-confidence.

While this song is a little extreme, the Bible tells us to have a humble spirit, but does that mean it’s wrong to hold self-confidence? James 4:10 says to “humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you,” and Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5).” (More on meekness from my past blog.) Can we be humble and confident at the same time?

The distinction between being egotistical and confident is that confidence is not about us. It’s about whose we are. Being self-assured isn’t a bad thing. It’s respecting yourself and who God made you to be. We are all uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s image with unique giftings and talents that God arranged for us to do good works. Knowing we were made for a purpose and loved by our creator should allow us to stand tall and walk with a swagger. Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) states, “Let us then with confidence draw near the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.”

Where self-confidence goes wrong is when we emphasize the word self. “For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. It’s not about our abilities. Confidence is about the work God is doing through us. The realization that we are fallible humans fulfilling God’s purpose gives us the confidence to admit when we’re wrong and adjust accordingly to get back on the right path.

confident woman

Confidence also communicates to those around us how we expect to be treated. Nothing riles up my mama bear instincts more than someone mistreating or disrespecting my boys. God feels the same way about His children. Matthew 18:6 warns evil doers to watch out, “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Our God-given confidence and self-respect communicate to a bad boyfriend or girlfriend that we are a child of a mighty, all-powerful God and that they should fear His wrath.

Mac Davis’s song is a hoot, but we can walk tall knowing we’re God’s children, and it’s not as hard to be humble, knowing a perfect God made us.

Runners at starting line

Medaling For Finishing Last

Madeline Tate, cross country runner for Boston College, collapsed into the dirt. Her legs were too weak to carry her across the finish line. Rival racers, Evie Tate (Clemson) and Rachel Pease (U of Louisville), saw her distress and stopped to help their fellow racer. Even though Tate and Pease were also exhausted from pushing their legs to the max, and even though the girls sacrificed their chance at placing, they still chose to half-carry half-drag the limp girl to the finish. To watch the video click on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PjBS2AjM7o

I love stories like this where women come alongside each other to lift one another up and support their fellow sisters to strive to be their very best.

However, it was sad to watch all the other girls in the race who witnessed Madeline collapse and kept going, so they could place or beat their previous time. I get it. They trained hard. They fought to earn their position on the team. But, it was still is difficult to see one of the runners brush by the women struggling to hold Madeline upright.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last,” Matthew 20:19.

I feel like that’s where the phrase “girl power” has gone wrong. Over the years it has morphed into entitlement, pride, and dominance (specifically over men). It disturbs me when there is an undercurrent of being better than the rest, or the suggestion of “we deserve” lurking beneath the sense of empowerment.

Ladies hugging after race

Men and women should both be encouraged to be strong, empowered, and courageous, but maybe we’re putting too much emphasis on the wrong thing. Instead of striving to cross the finish line before everyone else, we should be focusing on how to get as many people across the finish line as possible.
Maybe we should put an equal or greater value on humility?  

Jesus’s mother Mary is a great example of a strong woman who showed humility. She stood strong in her faith when her family and friends believed the worst of her pregnancy. She also stood at the cross and watched her beloved son die when most of the disciples scattered. Yet, you don’t read in the Bible about Mary bragging about being the mother to the Son of God. Twice in the book of Luke (2:19 & 2:51), it speaks of Mary with her gentle spirit quietly treasuring the things that were spoken over Jesus in her heart.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5

Satin and denim are different materials. Satin is more expensive, whereas denim is cheap. Does the higher price of satin make it a better material? Not if you’re doing yard work or horseback riding. I’d probably slide out of the saddle if I tried to ride a horse in satin pants. However, if I’m attending a formal wedding, I certainly don’t want to show up wearing jeans. Denim is effective but humble. Satin is expensive but weak. Both have a purpose.

If humility and weakness are traits valued by God, maybe they should be our focus.

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