I worked hard for what I achieved in life. I went to school, studied hard, made countless sacrifices to get up here. I developed some skills along the way; made the right connections. Like Langston Hughes’ never-quit mother in the poem, “Mother to Son,” “I been reachin’ landin’s and turnin’ corners.” I pulled myself up with my own bootstraps, just like everyone said I should; and now, the view up here is looking all right. I have talent, money, status, and influence. Life is good. There is nothing I can’t achieve if I put my mind to it.
This is self-confidence.
Isn’t this what we want our children to achieve in life?
Consider John’s letter to the church of Laodicea. In it, he says they boast, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and I don’t need a thing” (Revelation 3: 17 KJV). The people in this church possessed the connections or the skills and talents needed to secure riches in the wealthiest commercial center of its time. And with their wealth, they could acquire anything money could buy. They needed nothing. They probably had the finest clothes, best houses, acres of land, and enough food for festivals. They took a good look at their status in life, and concluded that they, too, were doing all right.
In classrooms across America, rubrics are used to help students, teachers, and parents assess the level and quality of student work. This tool is necessary so that students can reference a document that answers the question: How am I doing? A rubric divides a task into various skills and provides a carefully-worded description of what constitutes the lowest level to the highest level of performance for each skill identified.
At some point, Christians must also undergo a self-assessment by reflecting on their own faith development. We, too, can benefit from the practice of using a rubric to chart our growth on the faith continuum. The faith rubric, which I have developed, should prove helpful in that exercise. With the guidance of the Spirit, Christians can use this to assess themselves. Then they can establish faith goals for their lives and move onward and upward, with direction from the Bible, Pastors, and faith leaders.
Where do you fit?
We can languish in riches until we submit to God’s sufficiency by acknowledging Him as the source of all we are and all that we possess.
With discipline, focus, and education, many achieve tremendous accomplishments in this world. Even the best of these achievements are limited, however, without that vital connection to the true source of wholeness, the Creator Himself, who made it all possible.
Do you have total confidence in yourself or in the God that created you?
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