• Kara Abernathy

Bold Girls Welcome



I'd like to claim boldness as part of my personality, but I don't think that's necessarily an innate trait.


On the first day of pre-K, I hid behind my mom’s legs and held onto “Cupcake” – my raggedy stuffed animal dog – for dear life.


I was terrified to leave the comfort of home and enter uncharted territory.


After a few weeks, school became the new normal. I mean, I liked it so much that now I’m a teacher.

Taking the first step out of my comfort zone require boldness (and sometimes the comfort of a beloved stuffed animal).


Trading in fear for boldness is my goal this year. I’ve started trying to figure out what Christ-centered boldness is all about.


Christ-centered boldness can’t equal arrogance or aggression because that is not modeled by Christ.

Boldness comes from an acknowledgment that God already has it handled in a way that I simply do not. Boldness comes from trust and reliance.


In fact, we can become bold because we know that there is actual power found in our weakness. Here’s the truth:


“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corin. 12:9-10).

Since we are weak in our own human limitations and imperfections, we should count on the One who sets the perfect standard. Boldness isn’t depending on our own abilities; it is depending on Christ working through us.


It’s interesting that Paul uses the word “boast” in this passage because I usually associate boasting with bragging about my own accomplishments. Here, we are called to boast in our weaknesses because they prove our need for Christ.


If we can admit our weaknesses and communicate how the Lord has helped us in the middle of them, the Gospel becomes so much more relatable.


I’m reminded of a friend who called me to discuss something she was going through. She had admitted how the situation was tough, and she wasn’t sure how to proceed. As I started to offer her advice, I realized that I could use the conversation as an opportunity to admit my own similar weakness and how Christ had moved in that area of my life.


I encouraged her that God was right there in the situation, and even more, He has already gone before and provided hope through His Son. Even if it’s hard to grasp in the middle of a messy moment, there is strength found in relying on God and remaining committed to Someone in charge of the universe.


Our phone call became one of hope. Her circumstances hadn’t changed, but her perspective had.


As we move from a place of admitting our weakness and relying on Christ, we become bolder.


“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold” (2 Corin. 3:12).

I love this!


Boldness comes from the hope we have in Christ – a hope that promises our sins are taken care of, our shame is no longer, and our identity is found in His new mercies every day.


Even if we are suffering, we can remain bold.


If our boldness depended on our own circumstances or strengths, we wouldn’t make it. We would live in fear or rely on the safety net of the familiar.


Thankfully, we can step out confidently knowing that any boldness we exhibit comes straight from the Lord. We should make it our goal to please Him anyway.


Sometimes I can get so caught up in comparison that I forget where my identity is found. I want to measure up to my peers, colleagues, and expectations that I lose track of the main goal.


“But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts" (1 Thess. 2:2-4).

Our identity is found in Christ. Our main job is to declare His good news to the world. When we have that mission as our main priority, we are radiating boldness.


I think back to that little version of myself on the first day of Pre-K, and I am thankful that God continues to show His mercies new each day (and that He provides soft stuffed animals!).


Prayer:


Jesus,


Any boldness I have comes from You! I can get caught up in comparison and my own sense of pride that I forget what my main job is – to DECLARE THE GOSPEL. Help me to admit my weaknesses and find strength in Your grace and Your power. Help me to become more focused on the eternal so that I aim to please You and not people. Only You see my heart. Lord, I long to set my eyes on You so that my mouth is used to give you glory. Increase my boldness!


Amen

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© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.