Tonight we looked at three Cs which are important in Christian living: being confident, competent and content. These three aspects of life are not entirely unique to Christianity, but certainly, Jesus Christ transforms the meaning of all three attitudes and gives us the ability to live differently as we live in Him and allow His Holy Spirit to direct us and shape us so that we can experience life in all its fulness (John 10:10) and can live in ways that are decidedly counter-cultural.
Confidence is not simply a personality trait which some possess and others must just do without. Confidence can easily be bruised and broken by life’s difficulties, but the key to Christian confidence is that we can trust God. God is faithful and loving, and so we can be confident that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Ps 27:13) and that God Himself will complete the work He has begun in us. (Phil 1:6) Because of God, we can have confidence that we can do all things through Him (Phil 4:13). Our confidence is in God and not in ourselves!
Competence is ‘the ability to do something successfully or effectively.’ Many of us feel we are not particularly good at anything, but just as God gives us the righteousness which restores our relationship with Him, God gives us the very competence we need to live for Him (see 2 Cor 3:4-6). Our competence doesn’t come from our own abilities or strengths but from God’s. Both Gideon and Moses knew all about feeling inadequate; Jeremiah felt he was too young to do what God asked him to; Paul came to the Corinthians with fear and trembling. Ultimately, these Bible heroes realised their competence came from God; God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called!
Being content in God enables us to live patiently before the Lord. Paul speaks about this in Phil 4:11-13, reminding us that contentment is not dependent on circumstances but on a personal relationship with God. We have a part to play in this, namely learning to quieten ourselves before God (see Ps 131:1-2). Only when we see Him as able to meet all our needs (especially our needs for significance, self-worth and security) can we reach the place of contentment, which, alongside godliness, is great gain. (1 Tim 6:6) Then we can rest content, untouched by trouble, because we know Christ has overcome the world (see Prov 19:23, John 16:33).