Where Does Your Confidence Come From?
My mom says that I became a Christian when I was 3. But I remember giving my life to Christ at 7 years old. I don’t have one of those stories where I had a massive conversion or change in my life. But I can see God’s hand at work in gradually changing me. There have been milestones throughout my life when God has come a little bit closer and taught me more about who He is.
One of these times came following the 2008 Olympics. My sister and I moved away to college, and it was the first time that I’d lived away from home. That was where my relationship with God really started to be challenged. Since my family was no longer around all the time, I discovered that so much of my confidence, faith and security actually came through my family and wasn’t completely placed in Christ.
On top of that, my family has faced some challenges over the past couple of years that have really shaken my faith in a lot of ways–but it’s been a good kind of shaken, because the experiences have really solidified my trust in God. Again, I felt really challenged about where I’ve been placing my trust and where my confidence comes from. I realize now a lot of my confidence was based in what I believed I had to be. I thought of myself as a Christian and a good person even though it was constantly a struggle to live up to those expectations. I was constantly struggling and feeling like I wasn’t good enough.
But through this whole challenge, the Lord has been showing me that I am saved because of Christ alone. I cannot add or detract from the message of Jesus: that Christ came to save me, a sinner, broken and lost, who had no hope outside of the mercy of God in Jesus Christ.
That understanding has become so much more central to my everyday life over the last couple of years. I’ve come to realize that I need God so desperately every single moment of every single day, and that I am truly here by His grace alone. My relationship with Him isn’t based on whether or not I have my Bible study every day, or if I have dotted every “I” and crossed every “T.” No matter how hard I try, I’m going to fail at that. But I have something greater than what I can do: I have the mercy of God, because of Jesus and His love.