[Editor’s Note: Today’s article is an excerpt from this year’s Advent study, Fulfilled. We pray that as you reflect on Jesus’ role as our perfect Priest come to sacrifice his very life to buy our salvation, your heart would be stirred to worship him.]
Looking for Confidence in Ourselves
On my kindergarten review, my teacher wrote, “Maggie is very pleased with Maggie,” which I’m interpreting to mean that I didn’t lack self-confidence. No one would deny that I project an air of self-assurance. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more aware of how some people might think I’m a little too talkative, too opinionated, too revealing, overall just a little too much. I leave social gatherings with a pit in my stomach. Did they like me? Did I misstep? Or did I offend or overlook?
Maybe you’re the opposite of me—introverted and unassuming or gentle and thoughtful. But no matter how comfortable we have become in our own skins, the concern that we are wrong or acted wrong lingers. If we indulge in these thoughts, the shame can build into an insurmountable barrier between us and others. We long for acceptance and love and a place where we not only fit in but are a necessary member. But no matter how hard we try, the self-doubt lingers.
So we work hard—to prove ourselves, to achieve success, to find our special place—to be somebody. The world tells us to build our self-confidence through mantras and self-care and personal growth and exercising and makeup and the right clothes until we look as perfect as we want to feel. Even still, we can’t escape the feeling that we don’t measure up.
Finding Our Security Comes from His Sacrifice
We never feel enough because we aren’t. On our own and by our own power, we’ll always be broken, faulty, insufficient, and unable to achieve perfection. All our hard work won’t save us. Only the work of Christ is perfect enough to buy our salvation from all our faults, to secure our acceptance in the presence of a holy God, to adopt us into the body of Christ, the Church, and to gain us fellowship with God himself.
What amazing grace! Yet, we can become too comfortable with these truths. We shouldn’t be able to enter the presence of a holy God. We shouldn’t get to walk in the security of unconditional love. And we shouldn’t be adopted into a spiritual family by the Lord of the universe.
Our sin deserves eternal separation, isolation, and a God who cannot even look at us. But because we have a Great High Priest, who entered into the suffering of humanity and did not sin, who laid down his life as a perfect sacrifice, we get what we can’t earn and don’t deserve. We get to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence.
The faithful, unconditional love of a God who knows you completely fulfills your deep longing for acceptance. Who you are in Christ instills a confidence that affects every aspect of your life. The opinions of others dim in its light. You are seen, known, loved, chosen, forgiven, freed, accepted—nothing you do or don’t do can change your position before God. Therefore, let your insufficiencies lead you to worship. Be confident in Christ. You are his, and nothing can change that.
Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16–21
Your friend, Maggie
Find the first Advent meditation, The Best Gift, here.
Find the second Advent meditation, Fulfilled by Following Our Servant King, here.
And find the third Advent meditation, Fulfilled by Resting in the Word With Us, here.