I remember the time I was exuding insecurity about something, and one of my sons chided me: "Insecurity is very unattractive." I'm certain this is true, and explains the popularity of the Dale Carnegie course and its spin-offs. (Joke: "I had a problem with names once. Then I took the Dale Carmichael course, and I never had trouble again.")
It got me thinking about Khalil, the Persian cartoon caterpillar in the VeggieTales' movie Jonah, who was into self-improvement. (Introducing himself to Jonah, he said, "I am a caterpillar. Well, that's not entirely true. My mother was a caterpillar, my father was a worm, but I'm OK with that now.")
My friend Kristen says that a survey of men on what they find most attractive in a woman's character yielded this response: "Confidence." Surveys are a dime a dozen, of course, but even if this finding is half true (like Khalil's introduction of himself), I got to thinking about how this squares with the Bible's statement on feminine beauty: "a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4).
At first, "confidence" and "a gentle and quiet spirit" would seem to be at odds. The word "confidence" tends to evoke in me the ideas of pride, self-importance, and self-absorption. (Khalil carries around self-help tapes that continually pipe into his ears such identity boosters as "You are a go-getter. . . . You are a skilled metal worker. . . .")
But as I thought more about it, I realized that a person who has "a gentle and quiet spirit" because she is the Lord's would appear confident to those around her. Confidence is part of how quietness in the Lord would look. The woman who is secure in who she is in Christ is not always striving to be noticed. She is able to listen attentively to others rather then thrusting herself into the center ring. Her serenity is evident to all; her confidence is a quiet one, not a brash one. Hey Khalil, skip the D.C. tapes. Get Bible tapes.