Fearless and Humble: Not One Without the Other

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Working my way through Women’s Tops and Jackets at my favorite thrift store, I prayed, “Lord, change me from the inside out.”

Out loud. I prayed it out loud. Softly, yes, but definitely not just in my head.

I wondered who heard, besides God that is.

He did because I looked up and there was Pastor Jerry in the “Book Room”–a dangerous place for Pastor Jerry – his wife has put him on “Book Room” Quarantine. (I know this about him and about her.) But God knew I needed him right next to Women’s Tops and Jackets.

And since he may have heard my soft-but-definitely-not-just-in-my-head prayer and plea, I walked up to him and said, “Hi, I just asked God to change me from the inside out.”

“That’s a good prayer, Sue.”

“Well, I need that prayer, Pastor. I’m struggling with this tension: When I have self-confidence, does that mean I’m not relying on God? I WANT TO RELY ON GOD–I DON’T WANT TO BE PROUD. [I said it in all caps.] I don’t want to be proud, but I do want to be confident in what God’s given me to do.”

Pastor Jerry got it. (I like a Pastor who can handle ALL CAPS.)

“Here’s what you do,” he began. (I like a Pastor who knows what I’m talking about.)

“Here’s what you do,” he continued, “you are humble before God and fearless before the world—not one without the other. Psalm 46.” (I like a pastor who backs up his words with Scripture.)

Okay, then. Humble before God. Fearless before the world. Psalm 46.

Two things.

I hold my head high before the world; and bow my heart wholly before my Lord. Two actions. Not one without the other.

God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in sea storm and earthquake –Psalm 46:1,2 MSG

Humble. Fearless. How do I do both?

When asked to speak to a group of women, I run to God for safety, but go out onto the stage.

I’m prompted to invite a new neighbor (and their four kids) for dinner, I beg God’s help–but call out my car window while driving by their clan, and set a date for a week from Saturday.

Whenever I’m told I need to rewrite my book proposal (again), I tuck myself in Jesus, and go to the computer and start (again.)

Humble before God, Fearless before the world.

God made me uniquely His. He’s given me strengths–and you, too–and He gets a kick out of watching us use them.

Last week our middle daughter texted me: “Mom, your training paid off last night at a dinner party. I asked the guest a great leading question, and everyone enjoyed the conversation from that one question. I learned that from you.”

Great job! I got a kick out of her using her gifts because I helped give these gifts to her. I loved that story just like God loves my stories of living out of the gifts He’s given me. They give Him pleasure. Can there be any greater delight than to give God delight? I don’t think so.

Reminds me of the Olympian Eric Liddell’s statement:

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

I love Eric’s self-awareness. He knew he was fast. He also knew his speed came from God. And when he ran, he gave God pleasure.

Humble before God. Fearless before the world.

Here’s where you can start:

  • Are you self-aware enough to know your strengths?
  • Are you brave enough to say them out loud?
  • Do you revel in His gifts to you?
  • Do you know God delights in watching you use those gifts?

It’s taken me 20 years into adulthood—from age 20 to 40–to know myself. And now the next 20 to go on ahead in those strengths—humble and fearless–with some terror, occasionally and with pure delight, often.

God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in sea storm and earthquake –Psalm 46:1,2 MSG

Prayer for your day:

Lord, I want to be changed from the inside out. I humble myself before you and want to be fearless before man, all day long. Thank You and here I go—here’s hoping You get a kick out of all I do. Amen.

About the Author: Sue Donaldson

Sue Donaldson speaks and writes to connect women to one another and to God. She and her husband, Mark live on the Central Coast of California and have raised three semi-adult daughters (which means she’s always at the bank or on her knees.) Sue blogs at www.welcomeheart.com and is a frequent speaker for women’s events.  Visit Sue Pinterest!

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Comments

15 responses to “Fearless and Humble: Not One Without the Other”

  1. Amy Jung Avatar

    This was truly helpful for me! I often feel a tension between using my gifts and remaining humble. I don’t know how the two can co-exist as I often feel like sharing my work is the opposite of being humble. Grrr! This helped me see things more clearly. Thank you!

    1. welcomeheart Avatar
      welcomeheart

      You’re so welcome – I heard it awhile ago and now I’m glad to be reviewing since I’m speaking the next three weekends: I need to be fearless before men (women!) and humble before God. Feeling pretty humble right now…

  2. hopeful50 Avatar

    I love this for so many reasons. First, I love Sue. Second, Psalm 46. Third, that one quote by the athlete. Four, your daughter’s story. Five…ok ok I’ll stop. Sue, when can I come for supper? I’m bringing my hubs and the 14 lb furball. You’re good, right?

    1. welcomeheart Avatar
      welcomeheart

      My furball is 60 lbs and may eat your furball, but yes, we are expecting you! I loved it too, and happy you did as well. xx

  3. Michele Morin Avatar

    Thanks, Sue. I struggle with putting my gifts “out there” — but God is helping me with that. And I love that message you got from the daughter who became the conversation queen. So satisfying!

    1. welcomeheart Avatar
      welcomeheart

      it is and was and you are known for your gifts and God is glorified by how he made you!

      1. Michele Morin Avatar

        Isn’t that just the best news of all?
        Blessings, Sue!

  4. messymarriage Avatar

    So true, Sue! I want to have that same awareness of the good God has put in my heart and life–never taking credit for it, but always living it out in the boldest of ways. And when I live it that way, God gets all the glory! Thanks for inspiring us and a thank you to Heather as well for sharing your story!

    1. welcomeheart Avatar
      welcomeheart

      You’re so welcome. I’m still learning all of this even tho I’m old.

  5. adaughtersgiftoflove Avatar

    I always thought it was hard to do two things at once, i guess it is possible. I might have to visit the book section too.

  6. Brenda Avatar

    Sue, your writing is so refreshing. Love how your heart is light and deep all at once. So thankful He has a plan, and all we have to do is live in that freedom. (If only we could convince our nagging hearts of that at times, right?) Thanks for sharing, friend. xoxo

  7. Liz Giertz Avatar
    Liz Giertz

    Oh, Sue! This is beautiful! And just what I needed today! Thank you for writing these words about the tension so many of us live in. Also, sounds like you’ve got an amazing Pastor. Blessings, friend!

  8. KellyRBaker Avatar

    Perfect balance here, Sue! Love it!

  9. Sandra Garth Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your gift of writing, your words are soothing. Thanks also for joining us at Celebrate Your Story.

  10. Kathleen Aherne (@CoolTweed) Avatar

    Thank you for this nugget of wisdom. You have put things in perspective. Hiding or not using gifts is a bit of an insult to God’s goodness in giving the gifts. I love your point that God enjoys seeing us use His gifts. It is a no-brainer, yet I stumble over it.
    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop