“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.”
Godly confidence comes comes from being with Jesus. No one can dispute a changed life. Peter and John weren’t popular by the world’s standards. Their lack of education and training gave them no status, honor or respect from their peers. Human confidence is often built upon those things. The confidence Peter and John displayed was foundational in their lives and real because it was built on the unshakable reality of Christ in their lives. People saw the difference and it blew them away.
I once helped found a Christian elementary school. I was to be the first junior high teacher. I had never taught full time before, and never at this high a grade level, and never so many grades (5th-8th all in one class). It was quite a challenge. Kind of like “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” My husband, a veteran high school teacher and college professor, gave me these words before I entered the class room on that first day: “Be confident. You know more than they do.” That helped me navigate that year a great deal. Teenagers are apt to say some pretty heady things and challenge authority in their attempt to figure out who they are and where they fit in to their world. Being able to reach out to them with affirmation and doing so from a place of confidence helped establish mutual respect between the students and I that year. I could have confidence because of the reality of experience in my life.
Our experience with Jesus should result in a confident that isn’t built on status or popularity with the crowd. Our confidence, if it is to help change our world, needs to be rooted in the unchanging reality of knowing Christ and hanging out with Him on a daily basis.
Lord, help us to “show what we know” – not in a human egotistical way – but in the beautiful reality of how our encounter with you has dramatically changed our lives.