A quick word study on the word “confidence” yields a rough translation: “with truth”. There are at least two common types of “confidence”. The first, a brash arrogance, like a rooster strutting with chest puffed up, making a lot of noise (i.e. “cocky”). The other, I think, is rooted in knowledge, experience and/or expertise, and imparts a sense of comfort to those who sense it, e.g. the confidence of an experienced mountaineer when he is leading an expedition.

Of course, the first doesn’t turn out the be confidence at all. It is arrogance and petulance, the result of an insecure ego in need of reassuring or comfort. Unfortunately, while I desire the second and true kind of confidence, I am afraid I more often exhibit the former.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6

Peter’s shadow healed the people upon whom it fell. Can we leave goodness, mercy and healing in our wake? 

With truth. What does it mean to be, or to go, with truth? In confidence? The cocky man needs to hurt and belittle others to make himself feel big, always fearful that an even bigger man will enter the picture and do the same to him. The confident man, in truth, acknowledges his true size, sees his abilities and limitations and moves out into the world in strength and without fear of exposure (because he has stepped out into the light of truth.)

To put it simply: I want to be the type of man around whom others feel safe. I want my presence to impart peace and a sense of security, not harm and hurt. 

That is not to say that I want to be a “safe” man. In fact, it is often the ones who “play it safe” or attempt to manage others’ perceptions of them that make people feel the least comfortable. In the same way that Aslan wasn’t tame — he wasn’t safe, but he was Good — the confident man is able to take risks and be unpopular because he stands with truth, his claws are sharp but his gentleness is unsurpassed.

For the Christian it goes even deeper. We know that only God sees reality as it truly is. And so, when we align ourselves with Him, we align ourselves with Truth. In God is the seat of power, the source of strength to live a life that heals and lifts up, a life that does not grab and claw and push in order to “get what’s mine”, a life that does not fear.

Needless to say, I suck at this. I often use my words to cut and have selfishly belittled others to make myself feel less of the pain of my own insecurity (if only temporarily). I apologize. Here’s to pressing deeper into the source of all truth and to seeking the confidence that creates safe places in a world that so desperately needs them. 


~ by justinhong on April 25, 2012.

One Response to “Confidence”

  1. Yeah, what will it take to get us there?

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