Finding confidence in our abilities

Sometimes it may seem we don’t have the capability or energy to do what needs to get done. But God has given all of us the strength, ability, and joy to accomplish good things each and every day.

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One time a friend told me that she was losing her confidence in being able to care for herself. Not so much because of things that had happened, but because several people had told her that because she was getting on in years, she couldn’t expect to do things she used to. These comments, while well intentioned, were on her mind, making her uncertain about doing a number of things.

In comforting my friend, I assured her that she was, and always would be, God’s capable, active daughter. This was based on what I’d learned in Christian Science about God as our creator. God made each of us in His spiritual image, reflecting God-given capabilities that can never diminish. This spiritual reality is a powerful basis for confidence in our ability to do what we need to do each day. My friend felt encouraged and strengthened by these ideas, which are relevant to all of us, at every stage of life.

Not every course of action is appropriate for every person or situation. But everyone does have a right to be confident that because God, Spirit, is our creator, we are imbued with the strength and buoyancy of divine Spirit – which don’t diminish or deteriorate. As we understand this, it’s possible to reject negative notions about our abilities, remain quietly confident, and experience freedom and joy at any age. We can refuse to entertain thoughts of uncertainty or be fearful that we won’t be able to do what’s needed.

Christ Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). God’s goodness is expressed in His entire creation, including you and me. This means that qualities such as harmony, poise, mental strength, and the ability to do something successfully or efficiently are constantly present, part of us, giving us unlimited potential.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes, “We are all capable of more than we do” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 89). These stirring words encourage me to accept that it is perfectly normal and natural for each of us to be active and confident. We have the ability to not only do what we need to do each day, but actually look forward to more inspired, meaningful activity!

This has helped me many times to change my attitude, stay strong, and carry on living a happy, active life. When doubt has knocked at the door of my thinking, I’ve thought of this Bible passage: “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). This reminds me that when there’s an important activity to be undertaken, I can go about doing it with a humble desire to rely on the sustaining assistance of divine Love. This brings self-assurance, vitality, and joy to each task.

Yes, this confidence may be challenged from time to time. But we all have what it takes to do what we rightfully need to do each day. The Bible urges, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (Hebrews 10:35, New International Version). Confidence that springs from the spiritual reality of our strength and wholeness as God’s spiritual offspring is empowering. No matter where we are in life, we can achieve good things each and every day.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.