Years ago, I used to help oversee a local community project called Kidsteem. The name was derived from the purpose: to help boost the self-esteem of children on the first day of school. The program raised money from local donations and distributed it to lower income families for school clothes, shoes, or supplies.
I remember one little boy, who also attended our church, who had received a Kidsteem voucher. He was the youngest of six children and often only received hand-me-downs from older siblings. As I walked into church one day, he said, “Look at my new shoes! Watch how fast I can run now!” And with that, he starting doing 20-foot sprints up and down the children’s ministry hallway. I’ve never forgotten the joy on his sweet face — all because of a new pair of shoes.
I was reminded of this story when I ran across a definition this week. It’s the word embolden. (I just like how that sounds… embolden.) It means to make bold or bolder, to hearten, encourage, energize, rally, or revitalize. In other words, if you are emboldened by something, it makes you feel confident enough to behave in a particular way.
After a couple of laps back and forth, I said, “Wow! You’re faster than Superman!” He smiled and said, ” Yeah. Just call me Superman.”
Psalm 18:28-29 says, “For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop. By my God I can leap over a wall.” Have you ever received a word of encouragement from God (through a friend, a pastor, or just by revelation when reading your Bible)? I have! And this is exactly how I felt!
“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!” “Yes, it’s Superman!”
Or Superwoman. Or Superkid. Or Supermom… Superdad… Superfriend… You get the picture. When God enlightens the dark places in our heart, the result is an encouragement that EMBOLDENS us to respond in some manner. And in a sense, gives us a confidence based entirely upon HIM within us. One of my favorite scriptures says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). I’m very aware of my fragile “clay” self. But I’m also very emboldened by the revelation of CHRIST IN ME.
Superman is a fantasy, but Christ isn’t. Every person who has invited Jesus to live in their heart has become SUPER –simply because of who He is and what He’s done. Jesus is so much greater than a new pair of shoes. He is the treasure within us that empowers and emboldens us for daily life.
I just felt like we all needed a reminder. [Tweet “How others see you is not important. How you see yourself means everything.”]