What Gives You Confidence?
For some strange reason as I began to write this post the words from the old Sure deodorant commercial came into my mind: “Confidence, confidence, dry and secure…raise your hand, raise your hand if you’re sure”. What gives you confidence? What do you rely on in your life? For some it can be their health or their wealth. For others it might be their job or their position/status. As Paul begins this section of his letter, he asks his reader to not put confidence in his “flesh”, his worldly life. Let’s read what he writes in the first six verses of chapter 3: “3 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Before his conversion to Christ, Paul was a religious rock star. He had checked all the boxes. He was born to the right family. He had the right education. He had a passion for his calling. If anyone could place confidence in these worldly things it would be Paul. But he doesn’t have confidence in these things. Rather, his confidence is in Christ (more on that tomorrow).
I don’t think it is wrong to have accomplishments and education in this world. I think those things are great and those opportunities are often provided to us by the Lord. But they cannot be our “world”. If we hold our worldly accomplishments in too high esteem, we are likely to hold on to them too tightly. God may move us to a life that leaves some or all of those things behind. That is what happened to Paul. And he gladly left those things behind. Yet, God still used Paul’s past to help him serve Jesus in the future. Don’t place confidence in the flesh…in your worldly things. Rather, trust in the work of Jesus. Rejoice in Christ Jesus! Let Him be your “world”.