I think there is a certain irreverence that comes with confidence. To put it another way I think there is a certain defensiveness that comes with insecurity.
I am thinking primarily in the realm of human belief but I am sure it transfers to other areas as well.
Now when I say confidence I am not speaking of an absolute belief or unswerving certainty in something outside of one’s self but rather of that confidence that sits within a person.
Take God for instance – i am not exceptionally confident that I am “right” when it comes to faith so much as I am confident that I am ok where I am (if that makes sense). I am fine with the state of my belief and the rickety plywood and duct tape structure that holds it all together. In some ways this is being confident in my lack of confidence and as contradictory as this sounds there is a certain connection between this and kenosis I think.
There are a variety of reasons that I am ok with all of this and a lot of it has to do with how I understand the character of God, and of course I recognize the circular nature of this logic but thanks to the nature of my logic I am ok with this too. Others find this frustrating but I am ok with this as well.
I suppose confidence that is within is more powerful than confidence that comes from without…at least this is my experience. This is by no stretch of the imagination an easy place to get to…I am 48 years old and most of my life has been one built upon the quicksand of insecurity and the terrible defensiveness that goes with that.
It has taken deliberate and intentional, constant and ongoing work to get myself even a modicum of confidence but frankly it is worth it.
Others, for varying reasons, have greater reserves of confidence from the early days of their life for all kinds of reasons that are biological and sociological in nature. The inverse is also true.
As to the irreverence…there is a willingness to lampoon and satirize one’s faith and to allow attack from others when one feels this way. Take Stephen Colbert as an example. Arguably one of the finest political satirists of the age and one who regularly takes pot shots at faith and belief like Christianity (especially Christianity). This same Colbert who is a devout and exceptionally knowledgeable Catholic.
It is not a weak faith or a doubtful mind that is willing to listen and sometimes laugh at the things other’s say about their beliefs…it is not a weak and insecure mind that chooses not to leap to God’s defense every time they perceive an attack in the public space but rather one who believes that such things make absolutely no difference in the realm that matters.