If you’ll take a moment to reflect, you’ll see that some of the greatest moments in your life happened when you were confident. It took confidence to make a new friend when you were younger. It took confidence to ask your spouse out on a date. It took confidence to turn right at the crossroads when everyone and everything else in you and around you was telling you to turn left. So if confidence has paid off so well, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to become more confident?
Confidence isn’t something you master, it’s something that masters you. When I look back in my own life, it’s amazing to see how little confidence I had at times but how far a little confidence went. Time and time again, I was faced with large looming decisions I couldn’t internalize and figure out, yet things worked out better than I could have ever imagined once I took just one small confident step. It takes confidence to put one foot in front of the other, but if you will, the returns are amazing!
Sadly, if you think about some of the most unhappy people you know, there is no evidence of confidence in their lives. They’re always so busy playing it safe and making calculations. In their pursuit of safety, they’re lives are no longer exhilarating. Instead of life being an adventure, it becomes a series of reruns and regrets. Same stuff, different day. Some of them will even tell you they are exercising faith!
Here’s a guy whose life was radically transformed because he stepped out in confidence. ‘When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them’. Matthew 8:1-4 KJV
In the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look and talking about confidence.
Here are four thoughts on how to be more confident!
FIRST, IN ORDER TO GROW, CONFIDENCE MUST BE EXERCISED.
Imagine how much your confidence would grow if you were a leper and you were healed in an instant! That’s what happens in this story found in the first story found in Matthew Chapter 8. A Leper is healed by Jesus. The ironic part is multitudes had just heard Jesus preach and teach and yet only one person mustered up their confidence in Jesus. Notice how confident he is. He doesn’t ask Jesus to heal him, he tells Jesus the facts. Notice, what he says, ‘Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean’. Here was a guy with a seemingly hopeless condition, but one small display of confidence transformed his future! His confidence opened the door to a whole new world. So….when was the last time you openly displayed your confidence in Jesus? When was the last time you said to him, ‘Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean’. Until you take that next small step, your confidence in him will not grow.
SECOND, YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT WHEN YOUR ‘WHO’ ISN’T YOU.
Notice what confidence is. The leper was not confident in his own abilities, he was confident in the abilities of Christ. Author Bob Beaudine has written an excellent book about this called ‘The Power of Who’. Confident people place their confidence in the people around them. You may not be able to solve the problem you’re facing on your own, but chances are you already know someone who can. Who is it that possesses the abilities to solve the problem you’re currently facing? What if you got in touch with them and explained your situation and said, ‘Look, I’m calling you because I believe you can help me’. Trust me, you’ll be amazed when you do! Right now, you’re cringing at the thought of me. You don’t want anyone to know there are chinks in your armor. Never underestimate the powers of those who love you and their willingness to help.
THIRD, CONFIDENCE DOESN’T TOTALLY DEPEND ON REASON.
Imagine if the Leper had told himself there was just no way. Imagine if he’d waited and tried to figure out how it all looked on paper. One man touching another man and healing him in an instant makes no sense on paper! YES, reason is a God-given ability and you should exercise it. The problem occurs when you you are unwilling to believe beyond your own reasoning. So why is it that you are only willing to take the next step after you can reason it all out perfectly? For example, it takes no confidence whatsoever to pursue personal dreams if you can accomplish them without God. If your dream is something you can accomplish on your own, chances are you won’t need any confidence to achieve it. The Leper, on the other hand, had a HUGE life-long dream of being whole and he knew it made no sense on paper to trust Christ, yet he did! So what’s holding you back? Is it the fact, that you’ve figured out you won’t be able afford to take this next step? Did it take confidence to reach that conclusion? No one said being confident was easy or that it makes sense. It’s the very foolishness of confidence in the face of the impossible that makes it so attractive.
FOURTH, CONFIDENCE HAS NO VALUE UNTIL YOU CASH IT IN.
I know a guy who jokes that a benefit is not a benefit until you cash it in. Behind this joke lies a wonderful truth. Imagine what might happen if you start cashing in some of the confidence checks you’ve been entrusted with. Maybe, the only thing holding you back is your signature! How awesome is that thought? Have you ever wondered why Jesus told the Leper in verse 4 to not tell anyone, but to go and show the priests and to offer a gift? Me too. Often, when Jesus told people not to tell other people, they did just the opposite. Perhaps Jesus wanted the Leper to show the Priests his wholeness and offer a gift because both of these are tangible expressions of the fruits of confidence. When your in the business of dealing with the supernatural, it’s so easy for everything to become mundane. New life is life-giving, especially when everything seems dead. Either way, gifts are for others, they’re free and we share them. So when you exercise confidence or faith and there are rewards, remember the example of the Leper. Everybody loves free gifts, so if you’ve been gifted, look for opportunities to share them with others.
Despite your track record, you can start being confident today! In the meantime, have an awesome week! While you’re at it, what’s the next step of confidence you’re going to take?