The Confident Woman
1 John 3:20-23 (NIV)
20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask…
One summer as a little girl I remember going to a community pool with my sisters after church every Sunday. I couldn’t wait to get there. I was learning to swim but I wasn’t quite ready for swimming with the big people, over in the deep end. One day I walked over to the deep end and looked over the edge of the pool. I had been practicing my swimming but I still didn’t feel confident in my ability to swim in deep waters, then it happened. Someone pushed me in. Until this day, I don’t know who was the culprit but I have my suspicions (let me just say it - my sister Esther!). I remember falling into the water and going into automatic fish mode. All of my practice paid off and here I was swimming in the deep. What a feeling of victory. Thanks Esther! I didn’t feel ready but obviously I was and that push was all it took.
What is confidence?
My definition of confidence is simple: I trust God’s plan for my life.
The opposite of confidence is insecurity. I lived with insecurities for many years. I never glorified God with my insecurities. I thought I was being humble but instead I was modeling fear, self-doubt and condemnation. Humility honors God, and nothing about insecurity honors God.
Feelings of insecurity can open a door for the enemy in your life and it can lead to an inability to enjoy life, to keep satisfying relationships and to achieve your potential. In our key verse we learn that God is greater than our heart, in other words, greater than our feelings. Yes! God is greater – greater than everything, even our own feelings.
Confidence comes when we can agree with what God thinks of us.
What does God say about you? He says a lot of good things but do you know what he doesn’t say? God doesn’t say, “life is too hard, just give up” or “you’re never going to change”. He doesn’t say, “What is wrong with you? You are so weak – why bother?”
Have you ever talked to yourself in this way? Can you imagine if you would talk to yourself everyday the way God talks about you? The reason that our key verse tells us that we will receive everything we ask is because there is power in words. Words create and build. But it takes practice! When we practice talking to ourselves the way God talks to us – we create beautiful things and receive what we ask.
Is Confidence just a feeling?
Confidence is defined as the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something. Did you know that your feelings change when you agree with God? The more you agree with what God says about you, the more your heart (feelings) will follow. Good confident feelings will follow truth. When we talk negatively to ourselves, we will have bad feelings, in other words, our hearts will be condemned.
Condemnation is not from God. It is the tool of the enemy. Some of you might think that you are just feeling guilty about something and that it’s a sign of humility but the enemy has you trapped in a cycle of fear, guilt and torment. God doesn’t do that. God forgives – and he asks you to forgive – including yourself.
So when our hearts condemn us – when our feelings are yelling at us telling us that we are not worthy, that we messed up and that we will never change – then we must talk to our feelings and say “No! The Bible says”, “God has removed my sin as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12) and make it personal by saying, “God has plans for my life, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11)
If you do this habitually – believe me you will become a more confident woman.
Being a confident woman is kind of like being pushed into the deep end of the pool. You may not feel ready, you may not feel confident, but you would be surprised what you can do when you practice the right things. When you practice saying the right things, eventually you will start feeling the right thing. When I swam in the deep that day so long ago, I thought to myself, I’m swimming! I’m really swimming and guess what? I really was.
Pastor Elizabeth leads Radiant Women's Ministry. She and her husband, Wilfredo De Jesus, are the senior pastors of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois.