'Confidence Factor'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Atlanta Braves outfielder, Nick Markakis, who, by the way, is from Woodstock, Georgia, shared recently, “This team right here is as good as any team I’ve played on, could possibly be the best team I’ve played on.  Just the mixture of guys we have on this team.  We’re all confident in ourselves.  We’re confident in each other.  Confidence can take you a long way.  So, the confidence factor is there.  The grit is there.  Everything is there right now.  It’s just a matter of putting it together on the big stage.” (AJC, Gabriel Burns)

The ‘big stage’ begins this week as the Braves enter the post season.  I’ve been a Braves fan since my parents took me to a game at the age of nine.  It was the first exhibition game played in Atlanta when the Braves moved from Milwaukee to the heart of the south.  I’ve cheered and fussed with this team for many years.  This year seems different.  It feels more like they are focused less on securing a post season berth and more on what they can do with it.  At least, I hope that is the case.

I find Nick Markakis’ comments interesting.  His focus on ‘confidence’ is telling.  Confidence, self-esteem, swagger, attitude; they are all important in this game of baseball.  However, it is not just baseball where such mindsets come into play.  These apply to life as well.  Fanny Crosby wrote a hymn, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.  Oh, what foretaste of glory divine.”  Ms. Crosby knew something about confidence and its role in life.  She also knew how much the role of faith in Jesus plays in one’s ability to be confident.

The Apostle Paul seemed to be leaning into this conversation when he wrote to the young Christians in Philippi, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”(Philippians 2:5)  Paul knew Jesus’ confidence was expressed in a servant humility…regarding others as better than themselves. (V.3) It takes a Jesus infused confidence to look beyond one’s self.

All of us struggle to be confident at times.  Not to acknowledge such a struggle makes us a ‘master of denial’.   However, as we struggle there is one thing of which you and I can stand with confidence.  We are the apple of God’s eye.  And so is everyone else.

Nick Markakis’ words can be applied to more than baseball…his words can be applied to life…When we’re confident in ourselves it is amazing how that unleashes our ability to be confident in others.  As we love ourselves better so do we love others better.

 It is going to be an exciting October.  I am pulling for my beloved Atlanta Braves.  However, win or lose, I’m pulling for you to know a ‘Blessed Assurance’ that you are loved.  “This is my story.  This is my song.  Praising my Savior all the day long.”

Always Thinking…

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