Humility & Confidence

Lately I’ve been thinking about humility and confidence.

I want both, but get confused as to how to actually achieve that. It’s like the ultimate oxymoron.

My roomie reminded me that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less. But am I the only person who finds it hard to try not to think about something? (Especially when that thing is myself. I mean, there’s just so much to think about!)

It is a good point, though. Humility and insecurity are two very different things. So are confidence and impudence. Yet somehow the line can be hard to find.

Last night I was wondering about it again: What does it mean to wield authority in a positive way?

How can you be confident in what you do while still being humble? In the midst of my ponderings, I encountered this verse:

“This is the one to whom I’ll look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)

Something clicked into place. I realized I had been thinking about this all wrong. It was just like my roommate had said, I had been thinking too much about myself. (How does she always end up being right about everything?) The humble aren’t thinking about themselves because they are too busy thinking about something else, or rather Someone Else.

The humble tremble before God.

In the preceding verse, God says,

“Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool; what is the house you would build for me[…]?
All these things my hand has made and so all these things came to be.” (Isaiah 66:1-2)

To think I have something to offer God is rather arrogant.

He made me. He made whatever tools I might use to make something for Him. What could I do for Him that He couldn’t do for Himself? Do I dare to presume that He needs my help to enact His will?

But once I recognize that I really have nothing He needs, once I simply bring myself to Him like a child asking to be taught, He makes me into more than I ever thought I could be.

To be adopted as a son of the Living God is quite an honor indeed.

Both confidence and humility start with beholding God.

Those who behold Him know their place. No more and no less than the place He has appointed.

Trembling before His glory, bowing before His will, recognizing that I am but dust before Him–only from that place I can properly understand my authority. What He tells me to speak, I speak. What He tells me to do, I do. Where He tells me to go, I go. I do it all with eyes fixed upon Him, with ears open to His correction, with a heart longing to bring Him glory.




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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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