She walks into a room like she owns the air you are breathing. He excels at sports and has no doubt in His ability. Do you know that person? The person who seems to be given this extra gene called “confidence?”
I never exuded confidence. I sometimes wonder if this is because I never thought I was good at anything, or because I actually wasn’t good at anything. These days, I believe the former is much truer than the latter. I believe the enemy used the lie of the latter to get me to believe the former.
The activity I poured my time into growing up was dance. Although I had practiced in class 15 hours a week, my dance instructors never seemed thrilled with my technique, so I never received lead parts. To be fair, I am not sure I truly wanted one. My lack of confidence stood in my way. One time, my ballet teacher pulled me out of class to tell me that I was not dancing well and that I had a lot more to give. I remember feeling devastated and thinking: “If I am working this hard and she doesn’t think this is my best, I will never meet her standard.” I decided after my next concert, I would quit.
The night of the event, I danced my heart out because it was my last concert. I was so nervous. I remember pretending it was just God and me on stage. Ironically, this was the first time I danced feeling confident. Later, the owner of the dance studio found me to tell me I was a fantastic dancer. I never danced on stage again after that night.
Are you like me? Do you find people's opinions making you feel unsure and discouraged? That's because we were not created to find our identity in the changing opinions of others, but in Him who is without shadow or variation due to change (James 1:17). We were created in the image of God, and with His image is a dignity specific to human beings. Our identities were always meant to be grounded in the identity of our Creator.
I brought that insecure feeling into adulthood, quitting too many times because my motivations were wrong. God has really done a great work in showing me that no matter how hard I work, I will never win everyone's admiration. My self worth is not dependent upon my performance or what others think of me, but on what God thinks of me. I am holy and righteous and forgiven in His sight because Christ lives in me.
In Colossians 3:23, we read: "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." In this chapter, the Apostle Paul was referring to how Christ must be a part of all aspects of our lives: our families, our work, and our time. Paul talks about Christ being supreme over all aspects of our lives. In chapters 3-4, we see what the supremacy of Christ looks like. It changes how we interact with others, how we strive toward our goals, and the importance of family.
My father is a landscaper. Consequently, I spent many hours in the sun planting flowers. Illinois has great soil for growing plants. This is why we are said to be part of the “corn belt.” No matter the soil, many rocks can live just below the surface. When planting flowers in a rocky area, the roots are not able to grow deep. When we plant our identity somewhere other than Christ, it's not only rocky, but that soil type is really just clay- it is hard and cannot breathe or hold water. It is a place where roots will not grow. However, when we plant our identity in Christ, our roots grow and we find confidence in who God created us to be.
Here are three ways to find confidence in Christ:
1) We can memorize verses about our identity in Christ. Here are three I use:
Ephesians 1:5: "He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…" He chose me to be a part of His family.
Romans 8:39: "Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." He loves me and nothing can change that.
Romans 8:11: "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." He has given me His Spirit. The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives inside me.
2) We can journal and write down all the places we are planting our identity. Do you ask yourself if your identity is in something other than Christ such as a job that you may not have in five years? Are you constantly worried about what other people say about you?
3) Do what you do for Jesus. I will never forget telling Christ that I wanted to spend time with Him when I paint. Painting has been an act of worship for me. I wish I had learned this principle earlier. This goes back 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, "And whatever you do, do it for the glory of God."
This is a reminder even for me that my confidence can be found in Christ when He is number one in my life.
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.