I can remember when I was in Spain almost two years ago, and my leader needed a translator. While I am comfortable navigating my way around in Spanish, I am nowhere close to being fluent. At all.
We needed an ATM, and as the other Spanish-speakers in our group were busy, I volunteered to help.
In my mind I was going over the phrase for ATM so that when we finally found the front desk of this mall I would be able to ask.
Keep in mind, I learned Latin American Spanish. I was presently in Spain. Yes, they both speak Spanish, but they are incredibly different cultures. And just like in England and America, they have different ways of classifying different things. No way is wrong, it’s just different.
So, when I asked for an ATM, the woman at the desk looked at me like I was crazy. She wasn’t trying to be rude or anything, but there was obviously a linguistic barrier.
I started getting nervous, and I could feel my affective filter creeping back up. I felt like a failure, like I was terrible at language and communication. I love Linguistics with a passion so the cut seemed to go even deeper.
Then, it hit me. I remembered learning another phrase for ATM. When I used that phrase instead, she smiled and pointed me in the right direction.
When I was in the low place between communication with the lady at the front desk, I realized I had put all of my confidence in those sentences and the phrase I felt comfortable with.
Not once did I imagine she wouldn’t be able to understand me. That was ignorant of me, I know, but I felt confident in what I was about to say.
Rather than my confidence being accompanied by humility, it was coupled with pride. So when both my confidence and pride were dashed, my emotions were in for a bit of a slam.
Hebrews 4:15-16 reads as following:
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
What I want us to draw from my experience and from these verses is that pride is not synonymous with confidence.
Approaching God with the arrogant notion that we know what’s best for us or that time with Him is time we could’ve spent doing something else is not confidence. That is pride.
Confidence is defined as “the belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone.”
Confidence doesn’t mean having all the answers. Drawing near to the throne of grace with confidence means coming close to God in the humility of knowing you don’t have all the answers, but the faith and belief that He does.
Christ has been through trial and tribulation. He knows what it is to suffer. He can and wants to sympathize with us. He tells us to approach the throne of grace with confidence.
We can rest in Him. We don’t have to strain over what to say or stress ourselves out about how we should word our petition.
No, we just need to enter into His presence and trust.