A few weeks ago, I saw a textpost that spoke about the difference of pride and confidence, and I loved it. I think pride is this huge grey area in a lot of people’s lives. We know that pride isn’t a good thing, after all…pride was the very downfall of Satan. We are warned countless times in the Bible about pride, but as a teenager, I know how important it is to have confidence, but confidence and pride seem to be mushed together. It’s like no one can tell the difference. As a girl, I’m not allowed to post a photo of myself and say “yes, I am gorgeous.” Society has made confidence into this terrible thing. They’ve mistaken confidence for pride.
5 truths about pride
The prideful person,
- never says they’re wrong.
- doesn’t accept input, but goes at everything alone. They makes decisions in a vacuum.
- bristles when taking advice/correction.
- doesn’t take others into account.
- craves public and/or private recognition for the works they’ve done.
If someone were to be so caught up in themselves that they put themselves on this pedestal, as if they were God Himself (which is precisely what Satan did, is it not?) and said something confidently because they felt as though they were better than anyone else…if a girl or boy were to post photos of themselves saying that they were the most beautiful/handsome, if they did it for the comments and likes and not just because they actually like themselves, that’s an act of pride.
6 truths about confidence
The confident person,
- measures their choices and actions with wisdom.
- weighs input from others, and moves towards the Truth.
- doesn’t proceed through selfish ambitions. (Philippians 2:3-4)
- realizes they can’t do it alone.
- knows who they are, and who they aren’t. They’re “confident” where God has gifted them.
- works to build others up. (Ephesians 4:12-13)
As a teenager, I know fully well how important it is to have confidence. In these years, we seem to wrestle with our minds (and people.) over how we act, how we talk, how we dress, how we look. Everything we do is carefully examined by our friends and peers, and everything is judged. This isn’t Christian judging, this isn’t righteous judging, this is the world’s harsh words meant to tear us down.
I saw a girl the other day post a selfie on Instagram. She said that she took the photo because she felt beautiful that day, she had managed to put her makeup on correctly and her hair was obeying. Let me tell you…this is an exciting thing for a teenaged girl. When I manage to apply my eyeliner without smudging it or my mascara goes on without me poking myself in the eye…I get happy. And it makes me confident. Not because I feel the need to wear it to hide God’s creation, not in a prideful way…but because it amplifies His creation and makes me feel pretty. And I watched this girl get three kinds of comments:
- Rude comments telling her that she was conceited because she felt beautiful, people finding her flaws and pointing them out as if she didn’t already see them.
- People telling her that she needed more makeup because of said flaws.
- And…the nice people. Patting her on the back, telling her that, yes, you are beautiful. I saw two of those. There were many, many more mean-spirited ones.
Folks, girls need confidence. (So do boys, but I’m a girl so this is geared towards girls, Sorry, guys!) Please, please, please, parents. Teach your daughters the difference between pride and confidence. Tell them how gorgeous they are, point out their special traits. Please, help them be confident and help them love the body that Christ gave them. Don’t be so afraid of the sin of pride that we forget that God wants us to be happy and confident as well. Remind them who gave them their beauty, remind them that beauty is vain…but please, don’t forget to tell them how beautiful they are.
When I was growing up, my mother always told me that she thought I looked pretty. My step-father always told me that he thought I was beautiful. And I know that this is going to seem so vain, because outward beauty is absolutely one of the least important things. So many things are above it, what is inside is what counts the most, I know. But every time we critique a young girl on how she looks, every time we fail to give them a boost and remind them that God doesn’t make mistakes, they are going to get so much more hurt when the world comes by to knock them down.
Many, many girls have made poor decisions because they didn’t feel loved by family and friends. Many girls have gotten into bad relationships because that boy was willing to say she’s pretty and no one else would. Girls have killed themselves because the hurtful words of other people got to them because they didn’t have confidence. Don’t pass up an opportunity to tell them about their inward and outward beauty. Teach them how to be full of God’s grace and how to be truly beautiful, a Proverbs 31 woman. Teach them how to be beautiful, not how to be “hot” or “sexy” like the world demands.