We all sat in silence. Afraid to breathe too loudly. Terrified of being called out.
Our third grade teacher scratched her nails on the chalkboard as she wrote this question: What is the largest ocean in the world?
“Any takers?” she challenged, surveying our stoic faces. None of us liked to be wrong, so we waited.
The boy sitting next to me whispered, “We haven’t even learned this yet!”
I knew the answer. The little nerd that I was, I had read ahead in our textbook. Well, at least I was pretty sure I knew the answer. But everyone was being so quiet, so unsure. Their confusion made me question myself.
I whispered, almost imperceptibly, to myself, “Pacific? I think it’s the Pacific Ocean.”
The boy next to me overheard my answer. His eyes lit up, dazzling with this newfound opportunity to impress the class, as he tossed his hand in the air. “I know, I know, I know!” he squealed. “It’s the Pacific Ocean!”
“That’s right!” The teacher congratulated him as she handed him a sticker. A sticker that could’ve been mine—if only I’d been a bit more brave.
Claiming confidence when you’re unsure of yourself
What opportunities have you missed? What chances have you not taken? What ideas have been stolen from your lips because you lacked the confidence to be wrong?
When our self-worth is rooted in how others perceive us, taking a chance on saying the wrong thing can be terrifying. Our fears threaten to silence us.
How can we find the courage to advocate for ourselves, our passions, and our ideas?
The Bible tells us that God can give us confidence when we lack it most. If we ask God to help us place our assurance in him and not in the opinions of others, God can transform our whispered words to powerful proclamations.
Lacking the confidence to speak up and say what you mean? Take a few moments to ask God to help you place your confidence in him as you reflect on these truths from God’s Word:
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (CEV)
But I will bless those
who trust me.
They will be like trees
growing beside a stream—
trees with roots that reach
down to the water,
and with leaves
that are always green.
They bear fruit every year
and are never worried
by a lack of rain.
Ephesians 3:12 (CEV)
Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so that we can come to God by faith.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (CEV)
My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (CEV)
Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised.
Isaiah 41:10 (CEV)
Don’t be afraid. I am with you.
Don’t tremble with fear.
I am your God.
I will make you strong,
as I protect you with my arm
and give you victories.
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