Come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned. Hebrews 4:16 (TPT)
Where Love is Enthroned – Note To Self Series – Part 2
It can be hard to tell the difference between arrogance and confidence, being realistic and pessimistic, being self-aware and self-deprecating. I find the tension difficult to balance and frequently find myself on the downside. When it comes to the notes I write myself they sound a little like this:
– you always do this.
– people “endure you.”
– It’s your fault.
– you can do better.
– You said that OUT LOUD?! (I carried a watermelon?! *wink*).
– What do people think of me, WHAT.DO.PEOPLE.THINK.OF.ME?
Confidence has been hard to grasp, so whenever I’ve reached for it, it’s been forced, and it's come out arrogant, and sharp.
How do you talk to yourself in a way that fosters a healthy sense of confidence while acknowledging the stuff we need to grow in?
The writer of Hebrews said that we could:
“Come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthens us in our time of weakness.” (Heb 4:16).
In our time of weakness, when we need mercy’s kiss and strengthening grace, we can be free and bold. Doesn’t that seem like an oxymoron to you? Can we be bold about the mercy we need? That doesn’t mean haughty and entitled. Even in our weakness; even in the area’s in our lives where we have room to grow – things that we do that embarrass us, hurt others and come out awkward and wrong – even in those moments, we have the freedom to choose how to walk out of it. It’s our choice. And to boldly own that choice is to humbly take responsibility for your life.
Arrogance often looks like apathy, carelessness, disregard, and indifference. Confidence often looks like owning up, confessing, repenting, asking for help. That’s why “humble boldness” is a new note I write myself. It holds the tension between self-worth and self-work, between knowing and learning, weakness and mercy.
To need mercy is not a weakness. To understand our failings is a great strength. It keeps us going back to the ‘place’ where “love is enthroned.” Or perhaps it's more accurate to say; it reminds us where it is: within you.
Self-flagellation doesn’t make you holy. It doesn’t invite mercy. It doesn't pave the way for grace. It spirals downward, as many of you might now.
You can’t hate your way to love. You can’t beat yourself to belonging. You have to begin to believe that you do. And once you believe that you do? Confidence becomes something that happens from the ground up. You don’t need to show off, or declare, or convince, you just freely, and boldly, walk in it. Open, aware, awake. Holding your head high, but willing to be wrong and learn at the same time.
Maybe it's our willingness to be wrong and to learn that enables us to be confident.
NOTE TO SELF: Don’t puff up, don’t shrink back. Stand your sacred ground
In a series of lectures called the “Power of Vulnerability,” Brené Brown explained that this mantra (above), helped her be real and honest, without being arrogant and nasty. It sounds like walking boldly towards love knowing we need mercy and grace. And that’s the sacred part of it: the knowing we need mercy makes us free from feeling like we ever have to convince ourselves and others that we're fine without it.
Don’t puff up: don’t put on a show of arrogance, don’t force it, push it, or steam roll it.
Don’t shrink back: own it, be responsible for yourself, don’t hide under the rock of shame and embarrassment.
Stand your sacred ground: Need mercy? Need grace? You’re in good company. Owning the fact that you do is how you walk towards love. And how you journey on.