It’s incredible what life can do to your confidence.
How many of you remember the hurtful comments said to you at school as if it were yesterday? I’ll never forget people pointing out my lanky legs, pale complexion, weird accent, and total absence of sporting ability.
As an adult, every time someone draws attention to a weakness of mine in a group of people, I feel the same twinge inside.
Perhaps like me, although you’ve learned to laugh it off, you still can’t help but feel small and self conscious inwardly.
Sometimes I wish I could be four again, or seven, or even ten.
At four years of age I was fearless – the epitome of confidence.
I used to chase wild boars out of our garden with not a thought for dangerous they were. I would collect frogs and spiders and hide them in my suitcase at boarding school. I navigated the daily risk of accidentally stepping on a snake with total nonchalance.
My mind was overflowing with ideas, and always full of faith that I could carry them out. I went on a flight alone at the age of seven, and had no qualms about taking the bus around the country as early as ten years old. I wrote fierce letters of complaint to local officials as a teenager and was the first person in our family to buy a suitcase with wheels and purchase a mobile phone.
Isn’t it sad though, that by the time we are adults, many of us are better at dwelling on our imperfections than our potential?
One day a few years back, I got up and looked in the mirror. I did not like what I saw… Dark circles, freckles, wrinkles, jeans too tight. I was feeling sorry for myself. Fast forward to getting Zoë dressed for the day; she looks in the mirror, she beams and she says, ‘Yes, I am beautiful, because God MADE me beautiful.’
When a four year old says this, it doesn’t sound like conceit or pride. So what happens between the age of four and fourteen? What comes about between the ages of fourteen and forty?
Could it be that as the world and its warped ways wear on us over the years, we begin to forget that we are not made to have confidence in ourselves; we are designed to have confidence in the competence of the One who made us. If you know that God himself is your Creator, then you know He has made you well and designed you with a particular purpose in mind. How often we dwell on what’s missing from us, instead of what God has put into us!
So the next time someone points out a weakness in you, if it’s true, acknowledge it. But don’t let it affect your confidence. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were made with a purpose in mind. Trust that the One who made you did a perfect job.
And walk it out like a four year old!