“Find out what it means to me.” You’ve probably heard the song. A lot of people can identify with it because we’re all looking for two things: love and respect. A large survey found that women want love more and men want respect more. Shocking, right? What is interesting is that a number of men complained that the two were the same. To respect a man is, in his eyes, the same as loving him in many cases.
What does all this have to do with confidence?
Everything. You see, you were made to seek both love and respect. God made you with that need. It is why it was not good for Adam to be alone. God could have made Adam reproduce asexually, but instead, He made Adam in His own image, and He enjoys a trinity within Himself that we can’t fully understand. It means that Adam is incomplete without his own union, and this union would require love and respect. Adam was meant to love and respect Eve and she was meant to love and respect Him.
Why are these important to God? Because He loves and respects Himself and us.
Some people get hung up on God respecting us. They understand His love for us – Christ’s death on the cross should be sufficient proof for that – but they don’t believe God respects them. The Bible, after all, tells us that He remembers we are but dust (Psalm 103:14).
The truth is that God does know your limitations, but He also knows in whose image you were formed. He remembers His love for you and the sacrifice He made for you. He respects you enough to let you make your own decisions, even if that means you go to Hell.
Think about that for a moment. God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, part of the Trinity and fully God Himself, to die for you when you didn’t deserve to even lick the bottom of His feet. Yet He respects you enough to let you trample that gift if you so choose. That choice has horrible consequences, but He will not stop you from making it.
Just like we seek love from other people when God is freely offering us more than we can handle, so we seek respect from others as well when all the respect we need and so much more than we could ever deserve comes from God.
I got frustrated on my road to confidence when I realized I was still seeking love and respect. I thought that if I had confidence, I would never need these again. The truth is that confidence is not going to change your need for love and respect, only your source for them. You will always need that acceptance that is the fruit of love and respect, but that will come from God. You won’t be seeking them from your spouse, friends, or boss anymore. You will know that their respect and love mean nothing compared to God’s, either in quantity or importance.
It is a good thing to want to be loved and respected. It’s a better thing to know you already are.