Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Are you confident? If so, what are you confident in and why? Confidence is important, but what you’re confident in and why are also important. Confidence leads to the ability to get things done. Our God-given skills or knowledge makes us confident we can achieve things. Maybe you’ve studied hard for a test – you’re confident you’ll ace it. Maybe you’ve analyzed a problem from all the angles – you’re confident you’ll solve it. It’s good, in most cases, to be confident.
St. Paul was confident too. And for a long time, he thought his confidence in himself was a good thing. He was confident he was on the right side of God because of who he was and things he’d done – being born into the right family; followed the law; had the right jobs; and worked hard at doing what he thought was right (Philippians 3:4-6). And to his friends and co-workers, Paul probably looked to be in good shape. Unfortunately, his confidence was misplaced. Meeting Jesus, Paul realized he was wrong. While his abilities were, in fact, excellent gifts from God, they weren’t things that could save him from death or gain him eternal life. While God could use Paul’s many gifts to help others come to faith in Christ, as Paul now had, they couldn’t save him from his sins. Paul gave up his confidence in himself and placed all of it in Jesus. It is only through confident faith in Jesus, the power of His resurrection that Paul or anyone of us can have the gift of forgiveness and eternal life with God (Philippians 3:9-11).
God has indeed given all of us gifts – whether we’re good with our hands, minds, voices, or artistic abilities. Whether we’re patient, compassionate, or helpful. Our confidence in these can’t save us from sin, death, and the devil. But, placing our confidence in Christ alone, we use these gifts in faith to serve God in response to His love for us so all may come to faith in God and His promises.
In Christ’s Love,