A topic that’s been on my heart for a few weeks. A personal struggle for years. And, if I’m honest, I haven’t quite mastered the art of putting it in the right place all the time, but I’m getting better and that’s all we need; to be making steps in the right direction.
It seems like everyone tells us to have self-confidence. In order to have success you need to be confident in yourself. Your skills and abilities. Ultimate key to success for sure. At least that’s what everyone says. I don’t know about you, but for me. That’s not a good option.
You see when I am confident in my skills and abilities, I get cocky and do something stupid. Just the other day I had become confident enough in my own ability to drive on Wisconsin winter roads that I went faster than I should have (and I knew it). I wasn’t speeding, but I’d just come around a corner and was headed onto a straighter portion of the road where a pick-up was more on my side of this country road than I was comfortable with. Swerving a bit too close to the ditch to avoid him, I lost control of my car and ended up spinning and ricocheting across the road.
By the grace of God, I managed to stay on the road and there weren’t any other cars behind the pick-up to hit me afterwards. That was definitely a humbling moment of learning that even though I may be a capable winter driver, I’m not perfect. With my confidence in myself, I failed. It was hard to think that I could safely venture onto wintery roads after doing something so dumb.
Self-confidence only gets us a little closer to success before dropping us disgracefully down the slope of failure because we’re all bound to fail. No, you shouldn’t let those failures define you, but what if your confidence wasn’t in yourself and your talents? What if your confidence rested in God?
The God of the universe made you with all your skills, and abilities. He knows better than you what you are capable of and just how far your potential reaches. In him, your potential is without limits. That’s not to say you won’t ever fail. You will. It’s that when you do fail, he’s still got you. When I lost control of my car on that icy road, I should have been in the ditch with a totaled car, or at least in the ditch. But God watched over me and in his mercy saved me from what could have been an expensive lesson.
Sometimes when we fail, we fail hard and God lets us learn the hard way. I have many times, but I know that when he’s at the wheel, he works even my failures out for good. Which is the only way it’s gonna work for me in the long run. An interesting thing that stuck out to me at church today that I feel correlates really well is that though God is in control, we ultimately have the choice to go with his plans or against them. Joseph’s brothers sinned. They made the choice to go against God and their brother and sell him off into slavery. Yet in all of that God worked it out for good as he always does for those that love him and are called according to his purpose. I’m sure it didn’t feel good as Joseph being sold into slavery.
I doubt Joseph had really failed in any major way at that point, but his confidence was in God and though his brothers failed him, God didn’t fail him and used the bad for good. That’s the best part of having our confidence founded in God. When we trust ourselves or others we are bound for disappointment, but with confidence in God, he won’t disappoint. The results may not be immediate, but they’ll be lasting and fulfilling.
You may never achieve success in the way you anticipate or the way the World sees it, but you will have success that lasts for eternity.