Build Up Your Self-Confidence
God to Joshua: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."1
According to Samuel Johnson, "Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." This is true for both the non-Christian and the Christian alike but what the Christian needs perhaps even more is God-confidence.
As another has pointed out, "Moses lacked self-confidence when God called him. Had Joshua had lots of self-confidence why would God have told him to not be afraid? Gideon certainly lacked self-confidence. And until the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit they had little if any self-confidence. When Jesus was taken captive, his disciples fled for their lives. Undoubtedly, just as I would have done had I been in their shoes. Had Paul had lots of self-confidence in all situations, why would God have sent an angel to him when he was in prison to tell him to fear not? And over and over God had to tell David not to fear."
Lacking self-confidence is par for the course for most of us for we all struggle with this to some degree. So how do we overcome?
First, we do this by building on our successes and not on our failures—and on what we can do, not on what we can't do! For instance, I may be a terrible bricklayer but that doesn't make me a terrible person.
Second, more importantly, building up our self-confidence needs to come from within; that is, building up my belief in myself. This comes mostly from being open, honest and transparent with at least one or two trusted friends to whom I reveal my total self—warts and all. As they love and accept me as I am, little by little I learn (in a healthy way) to love and accept myself as I am. As we grow in self-love, it is amazing how our self-confidence increases.
Third, and how do I build up my God-confidence? By choosing to trust Him no matter how I feel. When I am lacking in self-confidence, I keep saying to God, "I'm afraid, but I choose to trust You in this situation." Eventually my feelings catch up with my choice to trust God.
Fourth, we also build up God-confidence through experience—by stepping out and practicing faith in God and doing what we believe He wants us to do. As we see God using us, our God-confidence grows.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You love and accept me as I am—and that You love me too much to leave me as I am. Please help me to accept myself as You do, and help me to grow to become the person You want me to be so that my God-confidence and self-confidence will increase greatly—all for Your glory, and not mine. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Joshua 1:9 (NIV).