Tuesday, February 17, 2015


No, that's not a new word. This morning I was thinking about three words though: confidence, humility, and openness. Those are traits I value in others, and desire in myself.

I think it was last week that I read an article (or saw it somewhere) regarding the trait men most desire in a woman. It had nothing to do with body, hair, or voice.... it was confidence. More specifically, self-confidence. Problems can develop if we have either too little self-confidence, or too much. There is a delicate balance to believing in yourself without being arrogant, and it's nice to find that sweet spot (or when you see it in others). I found this helpful little website on building self-confidence - http://www.mindtools.com/selfconf.html - that I think is worth checking out if you struggle with this.

I believe confidence wears best - and is most helpful - when coupled with humility. Many people seem to think of humility as having a low opinion of yourself. I prefer the common definition: "Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." I remember Donald Miller talking about how many of us view life as a movie... and WE are the main character. But what if everyone regarded everyone else as having equal importance? As the biblical writer of the book of Romans said (12:3), "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." We can be confident in who God made us to be, and walk humbly as a part of his wonderful creation - side by side, rather than over or under. 

Perhaps the trait that ties it all together for me, then, is openness. By that I mean an openness to possibilities. Whether that is from a secular view of simply being open to the fact that we don't hold all the answers and there could be alternatives we've never thought about, or with the biblical view that Someone does hold all the answers - and it's not us (an openness to God). As for myself, I need to remind myself to be open to the fact that things could always turn out better than I think. It's easy for me to imagine how everything could go wrong, but what if things worked out; what if the planets line up perfectly; what if my wildest dreams come true (or things I've not even thought to imagine)? It's having the attitude the writer of Ephesians had (3:20): "God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Yes! Things actually could get BETTER!

I really like being around people like that. Those with a healthy level of confidence, humility, and openness to possibilities. These are also the three main qualities I seek in my own life. I believe the proper balance between them keeps us from the 'sad puppy syndrome' on the one end, as well as the pompous jerk on the other. I wish it formed a better acrostic than 'C.H.O.' but... such is life. In my mind, this is what it looks like to have inner peace, or the "peace that transcends understanding" (Phil. 4:7). Who doesn't want that?