Grace to you!
A young girl shared a story of the process it took for her to gain self-confidence about herself and her faith-life. She is a devout Catholic, but many in her high school class make fun of her because of her faith.
At first, she avoided being with her classmates. She became emotionally withdrawn and was unhappy.
Would she behave like others, using foul language as they do? Would she disrespect people, act cocky and tell lies in order to belong? Would she not take her studies seriously, and spend more time at parties? She weighed all her options. They were stressing her out.
Because ideas shape our attitudes, not knowing it, she began to shake off some of the qualities that made her unique, simply because she wanted to fit in.
Often, people are not self-confident because they are what I call other-confident. They focus their energy comparing themselves with others instead of honing in on their own gifts and talents. This “Catholic girl” was a victim of other-confident.
Do you know how she came to regain her confidence? It came from an unexpected source. It was a boy; one of her classmates who she thought was one of her nightmares. This boy observed some changes in her life and demeanor, and looked for an opportunity to talk with her.
When he approached her, during one of her recluse, alone moments, she was at first excessively cautious. However, her young admirer told her how much her life has been an inspiration to many in their class. “We look up to you for many things. Though we make fun of you, it’s because we see so many qualities you have that we don’t have. I want you to realize that. Please don’t change who you are,” the young man concluded and left her alone.
“Don’t change who you are” kept ringing in her ear. She started to look inwards and appreciate her faith. Little did she know her life was an inspiration to many, even the boy who spoke with her. This awareness made her treasure what she had and become resolute not to sacrifice it on the altar of what others think or have.
The way to self-confidence is by self-awareness of how much we have been blessed; our gifts, talents and unique qualities which no other person has. Often, we are not aware of our blessings because we do not understand the wealth of who we are and the wealth of what we have been given.
Some believers are ashamed of the Gospel. They are unaware of how rich their faith in Christ is. They think there are better options elsewhere.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he reminded him not to be ashamed of being a messenger of God’s Word (1 Timothy 2:15). Such a reminder is always good, especially when you see yourself focusing on others, ignoring the treasure you have in Christ.
In addition, those who are spiritual mentors should always remind their mentees of the great treasure they have in Christ as the source of their boldness.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, June 2, 2016, Ordinary Time: 2 Timothy 2:8-15; Mark 12:28-34]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.