My wife likes to describe me as humbly confident. She says she appreciates the strength that I provide her and others. I find it hard to believe she still thinks this, even after all I have told her over the years. See, I might have an err of confidence, but deep down there is something more to the story.
I hadn’t thought about this for quite some time, until this weekend. I had a sharp college guy ask me if I ever struggled with pride, knowing how many people I influence. As he began to explain his question, I realized the perception he had of me. For years he had seen me on stage, speaking with boldness to large groups of people, and assumed that I was extremely confident. Little did he know.
In II Corinthians 12, Paul reminds us not to cover up our weakness – or to hide from it – but to boast in it. Because when we do, God’s power is made perfect.
When I got married, I wasn’t really all that surprised by how selfish I was. I don’t know, maybe living with many different guys over the years while I was single, I got a glimpse of the grossness of my selfishness. That wasn’t new news. What did surprise me was how insecure I was.
Even though I have spoken to large groups for 20 years, when I am getting ready to get on stage, I still go through the same process. There is one verse in particular that I read:
“Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak – that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19,20
Over the last few months, I have added another verse to pray right before I speak.
“With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all.” Acts 4:33
The insecurity for me isn’t about public speaking. That doesn’t bother me at all. The insecurity has more to do with being liked, or respected. When I get up to speak, I don’t want to compromise the content by being more focused on people’s thoughts about me. So I pray for confidence, and for boldness to proclaim truth boldly, with great power, all the while with great grace upon me.
I look forward to teaching my kids about insecurity. I want to use mine as a case study. You see, Satan would love nothing more than for me to be enslaved to my insecurity. He’d love for me to keep it hidden, and for me to strain harder and harder each day to make sure it stays “in the dark.” Not me. I’m be bringing it in the light over and over, and claiming God’s power be made perfect in the midst of it.
How about you. What is your weakness that wants to hold you down?