A Different Kind of Confidence| By Sarah Koay

From a young age, I have been quite an introvert. I am quite shy with strangers, but the one thing that I always had with me was my self-confidence.

There are many things that I knew and experienced earlier than my friends that I wish I never knew so early in my life, and I ended up having severe depression and anxiety because of this. However, my confidence was never lost. Somehow, it was still with me even through those years of being mentally unstable.

Now I am free from depression and anxiety (Praise God for his gracious love!), and I am no longer all that shy or as introverted as I used to be. In fact, I am starting to feel more like an extrovert. However, I soon realized that I am losing my confidence.

What is confidence?

Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

The world tells us to place our confidence in ourselves and our ability to accomplish our goals and realize our dreams. Rich people are often confident in their wealth. The powerful are often confident in their strength and position, the talented often in their talents. But what if we do not have all these?

Confidence is also the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

However, we are not called to place our confidence in any of those whether we have someone or something that we can rely on or not. We are called to place our confidence in God. It does not mean that we should not have self-confidence.

However, know where your confidence comes from. For the definition that best fits the word, confidence is the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

If our confidence comes from us or our abilities alone, we will lose it when we face challenges or when someone better comes along. So be confident in God and the identity that He (not you or anyone else) has given you.

“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise You because of the wonderful way You created me. Everything You do is marvelous! Of this, I have no doubt.” Psalms 139:13-14 (CEV)

“For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (NKJV)

We know that this is the truth, and we can rely on it because our God does not lie (Num 23:19), and He definitely won’t fail (Jos 21:45; Isa 55:11).

I have yet to find full confidence, but one thing I do know is that the confidence that I have right now is totally different from the one I had in the past. The amount of confidence I used to have cannot even be compared to the quality of confidence I have right now in Christ. 

Kind Words are Like Honey| By Jasmine Beard

“You are such an accepting person. I know and feel like I can tell you anything,” my friend said.

I smiled and thought to myself, “If only she knew all the thoughts and judgements I thought of throughout the day. My heart is not pure. I wish I wasn’t judgemental. I’m so far from where I should be in my walk with God.”

You read that correctly. Someone gave me a compliment, and instead of receiving it, I rejected their words and reversed what they spoke over me. Instead of allowing the words of affirmation and blessing to sink into my mind, heart, and spirit, I let who I believed I was to sink into my mind, heart, spirit, and eventually into my identity.

I wish I could say this type of dialogue was a rare happening in my life, but truthfully it is far more common than I would like to admit. And what is even more hard to admit is that I am only now just realizing it.

“I’m so mean to myself and because of the way I view myself, I tend to judge others through that same lens,” I listened on the other end of the phone as another friend shared those words with me. Her words did not resonate with me immediately, but overtime I understood more and more what she meant.

Behaviors, circumstances, and interactions can become familiar to us. And when something becomes familiar, it does not appear abnormal. Take for instance, a woman’s husband has been wearing the same cologne for the last six years. After six years, she may not even smell the fragrance, but simply identify the smell with her husband. However, let’s say that same woman’s husband walked in their home wearing a different cologne than the one he had wore for the past six years, and she’d probably notice instantly.

This same familiarity can be true in our dialogues with ourselves. We can get so use to speaking harsh words to ourselves that we no longer see them as harsh, but as normal. The reality is that the words we speak to ourselves can be anything but normal and are actually cruel and self-loathing behavior.

It was not until my friend mentioned to me how mean she was to herself that I began to notice my very own self-loathing behavior. I have always chalked my inner dialogue with myself to have something to do with my perfectionist mindset and less to do with my self-esteem and value of myself.

The Bible tells us that, “kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

Are your words like honey?

Are they sweet to your soul and bringing nourishment to your body?

Are you the person who can shower others with compliments, but can’t receive one?

Do you smile and immediately disregard the kind comment someone has relayed to you?

This was me, and it may be you today. But friend, I want to encourage you to fall in love with you, the person you are today, not the woman you aspire to become. Fall in love with the journey. And most importantly, fall in love with the King, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

His word tells us that we are made in His image. We are a reflection of His splendor and beauty, and as we fall more in love and awe with the King, the more we reflect His marvelous light.

So when you find that you have nothing kind to say to yourself or about yourself pray what the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 139:14 (TPT)

“I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord!”