I’m sure a lot of us are looking forward to this coming Sunday and the final of the twelfth series of Lord Sugar’s The Apprentice. I for one am going to be genuinely nervous for young Courtney as he attempts to string four or five words together before his buffering kicks in like a pre-broadband dial-up. Seriously though, I wish the lad well – wouldn’t he be the most unlikely winner ever?
Watching the semi-final last night, one main thing struck me and actually spoke to me quite powerfully: No, not the unbelievably unprofessional business plans that are handed to Claude and Karren every single series; no, not the unbelievably stupid personal content on the candidate’s CVs; no, not the unbelievably fabricated facts and figures that the young entrepreneurs think will hold water.
The thing that struck me most was the devastating erosion of the contestant’s self-belief as the gruelling interviews reached their conclusion and the five millennials lurched into Big Al’s board room for the final short-listing.
I Genuinely Believe
Towards the end of the interviews and finally around the Board table, Frances’ increasing use of the phrase I genuinely believe revealed how increasingly she was beginning to doubt the content of her proposals not to mention her own capacity to take on the role with The Big A Man she was hoping for. It was like watching someone metamorphose from a fully-fleshed out version of a person into a shadowy initial draft. Frances wasn’t on her own. Grainne was also clearly on the verge of quitting under interview interrogation that led her to admit she didn’t know what to do as something like the sap of her self-belief drained from every atom of every cell of her very being.
Genuinely Genuinely Believing
This got me thinking: What is it that I do genuinely, genuinely believe and what are the things that perhaps I say I believe but that actually I secretly doubt or that are not even true?
Proverbs 14:12 in the Bible says ‘there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death’. This is saying that there can be things we believe to be true and right and solid and dependable and investable…but that simply are not. We are all capable of the most shocking blind-spots!
There are lies and forms of self-deception as found in thousands of young X-Factor hopefuls each year who genuinely believe that they can sing and Dragons Den contestants who genuinely can not see the wood for the trees, despite remortgaging their home and leading their lives to the brink of bankruptcy.
As believers and lovers and followers of Christ, you and I are have an inheritance that is rock solid regardless of what seasonal weather may come our way. Indeed, we are unshakeable in the midst of outright war. We can be quietly confident in a way that goes beyond the froth and hot air of the supposed ‘confidence’ broadcast every year on The Apprentice.
Go to God in prayer with the things that you may suspect you secretly doubt – perhaps the things that you have waxed lyrical about for years. Talk to Him about them and see what He says. We are called to persevere and live by faith but we’re not meant to be led up the garden path or have the wool pulled over our eyes.
In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.