Friday, November 25, 2011

Being Confident

Recently I completed a first aid course. Whilst learning all about first aid, I also learnt quite a lot about my fellow attendees as they were quite open about themselves.
I passed the course with flying colours, but walked away feeling as if I had failed where it counted the most....I had not shared my faith.
I’m a Christian; I have been for well over 20 years. After my ‘silence’ during my course, I had some serious questions to ask myself, some I am still grappling with.... Am I confident in who I am in Christ? Do I proudly boast of my lifestyle in Him? Am I ashamed to know Jesus? Did I walk away from my first aid course having left a clear impression with the other students about what my life stands for?
I know I let many opportunities slide. I introduced myself as a Childcare Educator. Yes this is what I do, but not once over the duration of the course did I mention that I write, have published books about Jesus, edited magazines and have a faith that gets me through the tough times.
Why did I let the opportunities slide? Why do I lack confidence to share who I am?
I can tell you in all honesty it is because I all too quickly believe the lies of the evil one who whispers doubt into my life. Doubt that tells me I’m not as good as others, doubt that tells me what I do is not important, doubt that tells me I have wasted my life so far... doubt, doubt and more doubt.
I know that I am not alone in this struggle. We all have areas of weakness that satan uses to shake our confidence.
Please, let me encourage you to keep writing, keep speaking and keep sharing our Saviour. Don’t let your confidence be shaken, don’t allow the lies of satan to keep you silent or cause you to give up.  
Let’s be honest with each other so we may be an encouragement to stand together for Jesus!
If you have time today, check out the following verses which are of encouragement to me at the moment: Proverbs 3:26; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Romans 8:37; Colossians 2:2.
One reason we doubt God’s love is that we have an adversary who uses every little offense to accuse us of being good-for-nothings. But your advocate Jesus Christ is more powerful than your adversary. He has cancelled the debt of your sins past, present and future. No matter what you do or how you fail, God has no reason not to love you and accept you completely.
Dr. Neil T. Anderson (Daily in Christ, August 10, 2010)
Blessings and love,

15 comments:

  1. It is sometimes hard to witness and let people know you are a Christian. The things is harder is if you have had some bad experiences.

    A man on a bus asked me to his church and I said I already go to church and he asked which one and basically accused me of going to a false church, whose teachings was all wrong.

    If I had just kept my mouth shut, would things had been better? I may not share my faith, but do I at least show it. Maybe my writing it where I share my faith.

    MEL

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  2. Thanks Narelle for that reminder to us of how confident we can be of our position in Christ and also how we can confidently share and proclaim Jesus. I do struggle with this. It's sometimes not just a problem with confidence but also a straining to know if I am speaking - not because 'I should' but because God is directing me to. As an early Christian I was bolder than I am now - but I was also less sensitive to my hearers.

    St Francis of Assisi said 'Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.' So I believe God firstly expects of us to live authentic lives of integrity and love as Christians. The words would then come when necessary! Do you get what I mean?

    So perhaps you spoke the gospel loud and clear that day Narelle! You may not have even known.
    Oh that God would help us be always bold and courageous to live and shout out the gospel through our lives and when necesary through our speech as well ! :)
    blessings and thanks,
    Anusha

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  3. Thanks Narelle, for your honesty and the encouragement to live confident lives.
    I think what Anusha said about living our lives as a witness is really true. We need to be ready when people ask us how we cope with hard times, what we think on spiritual matters etc.
    As for the writing - sometimes I talk about it, sometimes I don't. It depends on the situation and the reason for bringing it up. I do find it easier now to "admit" to writing books than it used to though, so now for me it is a content decision (gee I sound like I'm editing my very life "Does this comment about my writing help my protagonist move the plot forward?" !!)
    Thanks again for your open and courageous post. :)
    Penny.

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  4. Thanks for that encouragement, Narelle. It can be daunting to share with unbelievers that, not only do we write, but we write Christian material, because we know that many of them would deem that a futile way to spend our time. I think we need to remember that, though perhaps the majority won't be impacted by our witness, some will. It's something I struggle with too - the way of the Cross.

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  5. Sometimes the light of Christ just shines in you, even if you don't articulate it in so many words. But it never hurts to speak it out if the opportunity presents itself. However, don't be discouraged and feel guilty that you didn't. His love will shine as we keep our hearts open to Him.

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  6. Great post, Narelle, but don't beat up on yourself. Remember there is no condemnation!
    My writing burst upon my life so suddenly that I find myself sharing the amazing fact 'I've written a book!'
    Because my book is so strongly based on fact it gives me an open door to share my life.
    Yes we must fight against the enemies lies and walk in the fullness of who we are in Christ. Equally we must stand against the enemies lies through religious spirits, like the man on the bus. Better to keep quiet than to misrepresent our amazing Lord :)

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  7. Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone. I was struck by the fact that some of the course attendees were so proud and confident in their chosen lifestyle. I just had to ask myself if I am too.

    I love that quote Anusha, I hadn't heard that before!

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  8. This is really tough. I think my problem is that I expect to be judged harshly by those with whom I would speak (which, until recently, was defence and technical males who tend to be critical listeners). I need to remind myself of who it is that I should be trying to impress. Alas, the people around us can seem more real, or at least immediate, than Him.

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  9. Wow! I often have these experiences and am convinced it's the enemy who then ends his day cackling in the corner at me. But I have times when I know I stand strong. Not a lot, but I try and take courage from each. Thanks Narelle. You've helped remind me that I'm facing the same challenges everyone else is but that there's room for doing it all better.

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  10. God loves you and so do I Narelle. I love your honesty, your love of God, tour ability to empahise and be compassionate to those around you. And I haven't even met you in the flesh yet! And you are more gifted at sharing your faith than you know. x

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  11. I enjoyed reading this, Narelle, but then I enjoy everything you write. You have a transparent honesty that is quite refreshing, and I'm sure those who meet you realise there is something different about you, regardless of whether you share your faith or not. :)

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  12. Hi Narelle, I think it's all about context. In the setting of training for your childcare role, the other stuff about you wasn't particularly relevant. Also, one day is not really enough time to build any sort of a relationship with people to get into this sort of stuff, so don't beat yourself up!

    Praying that our lives will always speak what our mouths may not ...

    love Janet xxx

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  13. Narelle, I can really relate to your post. I have also felt as thought I have missed opportunities to talk about my faith. But then I remember the times I have had that chance. I've come to the conclusion that I have to 'leave it to God' and just be who He made me to be and take the opportunities He presents. After all, He knows the listener and the perfect time His message will be received by them.

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  14. I remember feeling that I should have shared my faith in different situations, but now I've come to the place where I ask for prompting. If I don't feel the Holy Spirit urging me to speak up, I enjoy the moment. You never know when you might run into those people again, and when you have developed a relationship, their interest might grow.
    'there is now no condemnation....'

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  15. Beautiful words of encouragement! My dad always reminds us to share the Lord with people we will never see again when we have opportunity. That day may not present itself again. If it's someone you WILL see again, the relationship is also important, the laying of a foundation of trust and respect.
    Blessings Narelle,
    Dotti ;)

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