“Peter said to Him, ‘Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’ But he spoke more vehemently, ‘If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!’ And they all said likewise.” Mark 14:29-31
Back when I was in college there was a period of about two and a half years that I was very much into weightlifting. Without fail, you’d find me in the gym six days each week for about an hour pushing and pulling weights to make my body stronger. My goal was also to be bigger but God has not given me a body type that easily adds muscle mass so I learned to be content with primarily becoming stronger.
I loved working out. I truly enjoyed the feeling of pushing my body to become stronger. But there was one exercise that I dreaded doing. To say I hated this exercise would be to ascribe the wrong set of emotions in describing my feelings for it. I was more afraid of this movement than I anything. I was afraid of the squat. And my trepidation regarding the squat had a significant impact on my ability to make improvements in the lift.
There were, however, a few days when I was able to rise above my insecurities regarding the squat and in those days I was able to perform far better than at any other time.
What made the difference? My spotter made the difference. It was because I had confidence in the ability of my spotter to keep me safe and in control, while performing the most taxing and potentially dangerous lift a power lifter performs, that I had the ability to do, on those days, what I was usually incapable of doing.
We’re often encouraged to have more self confidence. But self confidence can be illusive and deceiving. Our personal experience with the dangers of life, and our own personal limitations, gives us a host of reasons to not have the self confidence many life coaches suggest we need to have. But I find it interesting to note that scripture doesn’t encourage us to pursue self confidence. Rather it directs us to place our trust and confidence in God.
Because the disciples latched onto, and boasted of, a deceptive form of self confidence they set themselves up for the fall.
The hand of flesh will fail you. Even your own. It’s confidence in One who is able to keep you, if you humbly, trustingly, and completely place yourself under his care and direction, that will give you a confidence you can trust.