I have posted in the past about comparing ourselves to one another (see The Comparing Game).
Comparison is never a good thing. As I was recently elaborating with someone about comparison, the word confidence came to my mind.
I have been thinking about that word for a few weeks now.
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they are able to do what they do so well?
You might know someone who is a talented musician, a person with high intellect, one who is excellent in the kitchen, or even someone who acts as if motherhood is effortless. Sometimes you even come across people who seem to be able to do everything well!
When I think of all the people I know personally and the talents and gifts they posses, I see confidence. Confidence is such a tricky word. You can have it with one thing and totally lack it in another. Most of us know what we do well and are confident in something we either know or can accomplish. That's why it's tricky.
I have a friend I've known since Jr High. She is one of the most confident girls I've ever known. She has accomplished many things and does each of those things well. I've always envied her. When I was around 12 or 13, my Dad and I hung out with her family. Even though I was young and clueless I was still impressed when I was introduced to my friend's Mom. I was taken aback at the confidence she exhibited! My Dad and I looked at each other and wondered if there was anything this woman couldn't do! Looking back now, it's no wonder her daughter followed suit.
I am sure she lacks confidence somewhere, but you get the picture.
I find myself comparing my accomplishments and/or talents with others and then I get in trouble every time. When I see something a person does better than me, I have a hard time accepting I am horrible at something, especially if it is a talent or a gift I wish I had. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I find myself looking at someone and wondering why it's so hard for them to do what seems so easy for me.
I tell you confidence is so tricky! What seems easy for some is like climbing a mountain to another. That's why it separates people. It causes division among friends, family and church family. I have seen first hand the jealousy it brings out in others. One lady possessing a talent... and another becoming jealous and causing disputes and fights because she wishes she could be half the woman she envies. The whole time it's happening.... she is not realizing her gifts. She is amazing in so many ways and cannot see it, as it comes so easy for her. I've heard the tears over jealousies and it's not pretty.
I am not really into the whole self-esteem thing.... I think we should think of Jesus more than ourselves. But I am fascinated at the division it causes sometimes when we lack or have too much confidence.
One thing I have been pondering on is grace. We need to have grace with each other. We need to try and understand that what might be easy for us could be a trial for another. I may be able to semi-run a company and keep a clean house... but I lack in so many areas in the home. I see so many ladies around me that can decorate, cook and dream big ideas. I try my best at times... then other times I don't even bother to pursue something I know I will fail at attempting.
I wish we didn't put so much stock in what others thought of us. I wish we put more stock in what The Lord thinks of us. He has perfect grace for us. We can be ourselves. We can attempt something... stumble and fall... and He still loves us! What a safe place to be.
In the meantime, I want to make it a goal to try and encourage my loved ones around me. We are not the same and we need each other. You might want to call me for tech support or math questions, but I might want to call you and ask for a recipe. You might even be asked to help me decorate! Let's not allow us to have a wall separating our relationship due to preconceived notions. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and I hope you will do the same for me! May we drop our guards and just be open with who we are.