Humble Confidence

Humble Confidence (1,169)

June 6th, 2011

As I write this particular essay, I am driving on the freeways of Illinois en route to Chicago, with a final destination of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I just finished a tremendous week in the state of Illinois, culminating yesterday with the blessing of being with the fine folks of Tremont and Eureka.

While embracing my audiences of the week, I also took a moment to look at them carefully. I asked myself a very important question: “What is it that I like about human beings?”

Now, don’t leap ahead and think I am connoting that there are human beings I DON’T like. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t like themselves and therefore don’t leave many doors ajar for fellowship. With them, you have to do a lot of knocking to gain entrance. But as I finished up in Central Illinois, I decided there are two things I enjoy about folks—and I don’t think I’m too far off the beaten path of the normal.

I like humble brothers and sisters. Now perhaps I have a different definition of humility than you do. Humble is not acting like you can’t do anything and then going ahead and proving it. No—that’s what we should call inept. Humble is when you are completely capable and have proven that, but rather than prancing around seeking approval and praise, you deflect the unnecessary diversion and just want to move on to the next exciting project.

Jesus said that God doesn’t receive any glory unless His followers do glorious things. In other words, folks have to see our good works before they’re interested in how we might have fetched the water from the well.

I admire true humility—people who have just proven that they know how to perform a task or manifest a talent in an excellent way, but choose not to make a big deal about it, but rather, rejoice in the fruitfulness of the labor. They don’t need to blow the trumpet, you see, because they’ve already tooted out a really nice solo.

And speaking of tooting, this leads me to the next group I deeply enjoy—confident people. Now, in our society we consider that to be a contradiction. Normally folks we deem to be confident are not deemed to be humble. But actually, nothing is further from the truth. Confidence makes this simple statement. “Something needs to be done and I will be needed to make sure it gets accomplished.” That’s confidence.

The lack of confidence is killing progress in our society because we commiserate over problems much too long and lose valuable time to work on the solution. We don’t really believe that God has given us the resources and the provision to accomplish our jobs. Big mistake.

Confidence is when we don’t look right and left, but instead, look straight ahead to what the project before us is going to be and we step into it instead of stepping back, waiting for the committee report.

Do you see how these two go together? Because if you believe you can do something and do it pretty well, you don’t have to go bragging about it. The by-product is evidence enough to give you position. And the fact that you have the position should grant the confidence to know that you will be needed if the mission is going to be achieved.

Those are the folks I just love to hug around the neck.

You know the interesting thing? They aren’t the ones that need my hug. Life gives these folks a big hug every day. The people who need my hug are the ones who aren’t truly humble, but rather, insecure about being able to accomplish anything.

Let me tell you this—I grow tired of a religious system that tries to make people feel useless so that God will look bigger. God is big enough that He’s not afraid to have a little competition. That’s why Jesus said, “Greater things will you do because I go to the Father.” I could never be a follower of anyone who is afraid that I might do too well.

And by the way, the other people who need my hug are those travelers who want to study their problems until they get real scared instead of stepping out with what they’ve got to see if it just might work.

So in conclusion, what we have decided is spiritual is really frustration masking itself as reverence.

So to all the wonderful people I met in CherryValley, Ottawa, Tremont and Eureka—little towns that most people may never hear about again—let me tell you:

Be humble by doing something great and not requiring a party because you actually showed up.

And be confident that nothing is going to happen without you—and that God is at the door of the concert with two tickets in His hand, waiting for you to arrive.

I love you all, but I can’t lie. I am certainly drawn to those with humility . . . and confidence.

Published in: on June 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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