Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Where do you place your confidence?


It’s a conversation at work, one of those idle ones that people have while they sit in a conference room. You’re waiting for a meeting to begin, or waiting on the person who called the meeting to show up and get this thing over with.

After the usual banter about the rudeness of people who call meetings, the conversation eventually turns to the idea of confidence.

“I really don’t feel confident in this plan,” one says. “I know we’ve been talking about it for weeks, but it’s just not well thought through.”

“Is it the plan,” another asks, “or is it that you don’t have confidence in our ability to implement it successfully?”

“Some of both, I think,” the first person says. “we’ don’t really have all of the experience we need, and we’re struggling how to figure out what success looks like.”

The conversation goes on (the meeting organizer is really late). I think about the things that we base our confidence on, or what we place our confidence in.

Experience.

Skills.

Intelligence.

The right resources.

Professional training and education.

Outside consultants.

Experts.

Senior or top management.

These are all work-related things, but they apply to just about any kind of human situation. Participating in a church activity. Raising children. Going to college. Booking an airline flight. Farming. Running your own business. Teaching a class.

This is a very human thing to do, to place our confidence in what generally seems to work in our specific culture.

But there’s another kind of confidence, and that is confidence in God. And it’s radically different form the human and cultural things we often place our confidence in.

As Bob Sorge says in The Fire of Delayed Answers, “Confidence happens when we come to understand God and his ways. When we really get to know God, confidence is automatic. If we truly come to know Him, we’ll be confident that He will be true to His person.”

I look at some of the key moments in my life, and ask the question, did I place my confidence in God?

In some cases, the answer is yes. In other situations (too many), the answer is no. I have too much a tendency to rely on myself and what I know. Sometimes it works out okay. Other times, it doesn’t.

I’m in one of those situations right now. Everything in my experience is screaming at me, “Do this! You know it will work! It will work this time! It has to! Go talk to him, or talk to her. They’ll know. They can help.”

Yet there is this small voice struggling to be heard amid the shouting. 

“Wait. Just wait. Put your confidence in what you know is rock solid.”

And it’s not my experience, my skills, my training, my intelligence, other people, or sufficient resources.

This time, I think I’ll wait.


Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading The Fire of Delayed Answers. To see more posts on this chapter, “Confidence in His Ways,” please visit Jason at Connecting to Impact.


Photograph by Alex Grichenko via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

4 comments:

Talya Tate Boerner said...

Thank you. I needed to hear this message today.

jasonS said...

I used the same quote, but I like the part you included, we will be "confident that He will be true to His person." That resonates in me and like you, I'm desperately trying to wait right now. Sounds crazy to say "desperately wait" but it fits. I want to trust Him because I feel Him leading, but in me, I want to fix things and figure everything out. I still want His results, but I want my intellect and creativity to drive the way. It just doesn't work. I'm waiting with you, Glynn. Thank you.

Betty Draper said...

Good points, think I will share them with my son who is struggling right now at his job with learning a new project.

nance.mdr said...

i can become confused as to when to do or not do something. like a tug, when i don't really want to say something, but, do it because of the tug. the soft voice that will push a couple of times...until the time is past for doing it. usually a small moment to resist before doing it is available.

a lot of things seem to be a matter of timing. and i am not usually aware of it very much in advance. the word waiting changes... to listening. listening for something that i don't yet know. and it may have nothing to do with what i am thinking me or my life is about at the time.

i become nothing ...or that crazy woman... more than not.