“Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.” —Jeremiah 1:17 (NLT)
Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them…
This is the part of the verse that grabs me. If you’re fearful and don’t trust God, you will look foolish.
So how do I display confidence and not arrogance? How do I display humble authority? Jesus did it. People loved it. The religious leaders, however, hated it and challenged Jesus every chance they got. Jesus never backed down. His opponents were always the ones walking away with their tails tucked between their legs.
I can’t back down if I’m living humbly before Jesus. That’s the trick. Living humbly. My problem is I’ve been overcompensating for self-perceived inadequacies for so long, when I try to be confident and strong, I come off as arrogant or obtuse. Neglecting my spiritual/devotional life makes matters worse.
For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand against the whole land— the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah. (Jeremiah 1:18 NLT)
God makes you strong. You don’t need to make yourself look strong. All that extra effort can be expended elsewhere on something useful and productive. You’re doing it wrong anyway.
The application question is this: if I’ve been projecting a tough guy image, or a smart guy image, or whatever image I’ve been projecting, and I’ve been doing this for years and years, how do you teach this old dog new tricks?
Answer: start being humble and teachable today. Now. Decide now. And then launch into new habits. Write it down. Tell somebody what you’re doing. But do it today. People are watching you and God wants to use you to teach them something.