Build Your Confidence By This

"...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" - Heb 10:22 ESV.

We all need confidence because it comes handy in many transactions in life. Whether you are negotiating a loan, selling a product, asking for a raise or just trying to make friends, confidence or lack thereof can either make or break the process. Confidence is something that comes from the inside. Usually, it is a product of a belief that nothing can go wrong. And this is where we fight the greatest enemy of confidence - doubt. 

The fact is, it's not always easy to come up with the belief that nothing can go wrong. Many people subscribe to the so-called Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." And this can easily erode anyone's confidence especially at critical moments and when the stakes are high. The higher the stakes are, the more we are shaken in our confidence.

Facing an important person is one instance where we waver in our confidence. Imagine making an appointment to talk to the principal if you are a student or to the governor if you are an ordinary citizen and totally unrelated to him. There must be a lot of anxiety going into the appointment date and especially during it. If your purpose is to request something, maybe a favor or a funding. How confident will you be that your request will be granted? Is there an assurance that you will be accommodated? Will he even give you enough time to listen to what you have to say? Will he believe your words? Will he think of you as credible? So many doubts and each one chips off a slice from that block you call confidence.

As you can see, doubts are caused by belief in the same way that confidence is. When you believe that something will go wrong, your confidence decreases. But when you believe that something will come out right, confidence increases. There are several reasons why we believe things can go wrong. First of all is our capacity to do it. The less skill we have, the less confident we are in doing it right. Second is our degree of preparation. Third is our lack of support. Fourth is the idea that there are always uncontrollable things that we can't do anything about. But imagine for a moment that you can't go wrong. How confident will you be then? Or is this even possible?

In a way, he who has his confidence in God may just have the right confidence to do much more than the one who only relies on himself. This is the confidence that makes Apostle Paul say with conviction, "I can do anything...". In itself that sounds presumptuous but when we read the complete statement we begin to understand why. The statement in its full form is this: "I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13). And so in the passage today which is also attributed to his authorship, he tells us this: 

"let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful" (Heb 10:22-23 ESV).

He seems to be talking about an "appointment" with God, to speak with Him, to ask from Him, to thank Him, etc. His advice to us is to approach God with full assurance of faith. In other words, to be filled with confidence that we will be welcomed and listened to because, after all, we are His beloved children. Yes, He is a holy God and we are sinners. However, Paul reminds us that we have been made clean and if only we can believe that then our confidence that we will be accepted in His presence increases. God won't reject even a sinner whom His Son has made clean already. This is our confidence today. This is also our hope that when the time comes, we will still be accepted as Jesus has promised and He is faithful.

So whether we are asking in prayer, venturing into something we haven't done before, facing a strange or a challenging situation, we can actually forge ahead and press on with confidence, Murphy's Law notwithstanding. Why? Because again, our confidence isn't in ourselves but in our God and with Him on our side, nothing can prevent good from visiting us. This God assures us today with these words that we should believe to build our confidence: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28 ESV). With this assurance, will there be any reason for doubt? I don't think so.

(Photo credit: theatlantic.com)