Question: Confidence

Recently I received a question from a reader about confidence. Here it is:

Is self-esteem or confidence important for a Christian. In my experience, people who have never experienced a serious lack of confidence in themselves are the ones who preach that confidence is unimportant or even sinful. Those who struggle with self-esteem are often times shunned by others, sometimes accused of being selfish.

This is something that hits home for me because it’s something that I struggle with. Because of things that happened when I was growing up I had huge self esteem issues, in fact I hated myself for many years. Both as a non believer and as a Christian I despised who I was and this affected the way I viewed God. As a non believer God seemed disinterested or nonexistent. As a believer he seemed unsatisfied or forced to love me out of some sort of pity. Through prayer and lots of counseling I’ve learned that this sort of extreme low self esteem is not healthy, but I don’t think that the sort of arrogent pride that you see from overconfident people is the answer either. I think that God is inviting us into something bigger, deeper, richer.

I think there are 2 things in which we should be confident in

#1: In God

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us

1 John 5:14

Also we should have confidence in the NEW identity that we find IN Christ.

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:8-10

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

1 Corinthians 2:1-10, 17

This isn’t an overnight change the process of sanctification(becoming mroe like Christ) takes an entire lifetime to perform. But for those who, like me, have struggled with confidence I’d say first relax and see what God will do. Next I would say to focus on what you know, not what you feel but what you know. Especially the verse from 1 Peter. Soak yourself in that vision of your identity and call it your own. Read that verse but read it from your perspective, I am chosen, I am a royal priest, a member of a holy nation. I am God’s special possession. When you focus on those attribute you might surprise yourself as to how you are slowly becoming more bold and more confident.

So to summarize, low self esteem is harmful. Confidence in your own earthly self and ability isn’t the answer. Put your confidence in God and what he has done for you through Christ. It’s there that you can grab hold of your new and true identity which will help with your self esteem. 

How about you? Have you struggled with self esteem? How has God helped you with this?

Remember you can post new questions here or send them to me at mikewise77@gmail.com I’l answer a new question next week.

 

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