Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6
Confident is something we all desire to be but many believe it is just not in their DNA. People relate confidence to personality traits or to life experiences and so it’s easy to quickly disqualify ourselves. Recently, confidence has even been connected to narcissism and so that quickly lets us off the hook. It’s easier to diminish the value of something that requires work rather than discipline ourselves to strive for it.
But how would it change your life today if you were confident about yourself, your family, and your future?
I believe that it is possible for us to be confident and I will actually take it a step further and even go so far as to say required. When I study God’s Word I find that God expects us to live confidently.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Hebrews 3:6
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Ephesians 3:12
As a follower of Christ, I must understand the source of my confidence is not in myself or in my abilities. It is not in my personality or in strengths. My confidence lies in the person of Jesus Christ and in the power of His might in my life. Now this changes everything for me.
Real confidence is not self-admiration or a sense of entitlement. True confidence is not rooted in my need for approval or my selfish behavior. We use the word “self” to explain a confident person in so many of life’s contexts: self-assured, self-esteem, etc. But if we are honest we have to admit that we are not very confident in our own abilities because we know the real us. But we are drawn to those who walk in boldness. They always seem to know where they are going and they appear to trust their own abilities to get there.
Authentic confidence cannot be bought or fashioned. A thousand dollar suit doesn’t make you confident. A good-looking husband doesn’t make you courageous. A title at work doesn’t make you bold. And that can be proven over and over by the challenges that come into our lives. Real confidence is storm-proof. And that is why only Jesus can serve as a source of confidence in our lives. Obstacles will challenge our lives, so we must believe in Christ and trust His work in our lives.
We are called to live confidently in Christ. But there are some habits we can fall into that eat away at even the most solid foundation. Look over these and see if any of these are sabotaging your faith on a daily basis.
- Caring too much about what other people think. Do you find that you seek the approval of others in many areas of your life? How many selfies have been posted because people are in such great need of affirmation from the crowd? You must turn that wasted energy into positive energy by getting in God’s Word and allowing it to show you who you are and where you need to change. God’s approval is where you start and you will be shocked to find that when you have that, the confidence comes.
- Negative self-talk. The devil loves to feed us believable lies. We adopt these false ideas of who we are and where we are and suddenly we are discouraged and immobile. Ephesians 1-2 are great places to start clearing up those lies. Paul gives us a great description of who we are in Christ and what He thinks about us. As we embrace the truth and start walking in that truth, confidence builds.
- Incorrect view of failure. Do you see failure as a stepping stone or a train wreck? Our world has demonized failing to the point that it is absolutely unacceptable. So we cover our mistakes and pretend we don’t make them. Over time this hypocrisy eats away at a real confidence builder. Failing can be a confidence builder if you let it. Anytime we try something new we can expect a learning curve. Failure is part of learning. It is a great teacher of what not to do. Sure we would like to avoid it but that is not life. So turn those mistakes into teachable moments. Admit that you struggle to find the right way sometimes and watch those repeated efforts establish a strong base of confidence in your life. Walk in obedience to God and His ways and you will begin to have confidence in your decisions and direction for life.
- Comparing yourself to others. Social media has created a giant that must be fought every day if you are going to be a confident person. The temptation is there in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Envy, jealousy, pride, and those are just a few that come to mind when I think of this battle. It’s time you worked at making your own life and stopped drooling over other people’s lives. God has a plan for you. You have value and purpose. Stop the hours of scrolling and trolling social media and put that time into investing in things that will make you better. Read great books, reflect on your values and purpose, meditate on God’s Word, pray and ask for wisdom, guidance and power that only He can provide for you, then get out there and live your life with confidence.
We are called to be confident and we have every reason to be genuinely confident because the source of our strength is Christ. It takes hard work and patience as we build godly attributes in our lives but the results are a calm assurance that takes us through life.