le boy and i were watching a dave ramsey FPU lesson last night (btw, hands down the best thing we've done to prepare for marriage, financially and otherwise). and there was a section of the lesson where the speaker (dave) lists off his personal qualifications in real estate, they are numerous. i turned to le boy and said, that right there is the difference between a british person and a north american. there is, in the uk, a sense that one must always be 'humble,' over here we don't shout too loudly about what we've accomplished, we don't usually wave our hands (or our flags) in the air 'oh oh oh pick me, i know the answer' over here english reserve still reigns. across the pond things are all together different. i was raised in a culture that insisted we should be proud of what we accomplished, and that telling others about it is how you get yourself noticed.
i was thinking about both ways, and i'm not sure that either way is actually 'right.' in the uk this humility can be undermined very quickly in conversation - what school and university you attended, where your regional accent sounds of, if you love football or rugby or cricket, and what you do for a living, all betray a person in mere minutes. i've seen it, and it's astonishing to watch a conversation turn from friendly to not-so-friendly in a moment, and i, as the perpetual foreigner, missed the entire reason why...
in north america, being out there absolutely has it's benefits, usually people know who they're dealing with quickly and when people openly discuss their accomplishments it can be massively encouraging. it can also be intimidating. and it can sometimes sound like bragging.
and yet, regardless of which side of the atlantic you come from, or live on, there is an area wherei believe we are not confident enough. i don't think we're confident enough in jesus. yes, we are to be humble in his sight and we are to humble ourselves to each other out of reverence for him, but humble does not mean lacking in confidence.
this morning, while reading 1 Corinthians, i was so encouraged by this:
4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:4-9i am not lacking. and that is something to praise god for. i am not lacking the gifts i need to be hospitable or charitable, or lead, or minister, or be compassionate, or teach....the KJV says it like this: so that ye come behind in no gift. we have been given EVERYTHING we need as we wait for christ. we have been enriched. we are being sustained. and that is something to be confident about. something to rejoice over. something to brag on.