Where does confidence come from? We can all recognize self-confident people— they seem to know who they are, what they should be doing, and believe they can get it done.
That might describe you or how you have felt at a particular season of life, but rarely can we say we have always felt clear and confident in what we are doing or in our own ability to do it.
It reminds me of these string puppet toys that stand upright and strong until you push a hidden button causing them to collapse. As you release the button, they are transformed and stand completely upright again.
Confidence helps us to stand upright and be fully committed, but once our own “button” is pressed, we may start to “faint” or crumble due to our lack of conviction. You could call this uncertainty or doubt. These buttons can be triggered by life’s circumstances which are beyond our control, or losses that throw us into a state of confusion. We may begin to question everything we previously relied on and left unchecked, those doubts can crush our confidence and hopes for the future.
Some common doubts that we may face:
- Will I ever get through these classes?
- Can I take on this new responsibility?
- How can I ever manage a career AND a family?
- How can I raise strong, faithful children in such a sinful, broken world?
- Will we every be financially secure?
- What does God have ME here to accomplish?
- Is it possible for my marriage to be healthy?
- I have messed up so many things, how could God ever use someone like me?
- I have never done anything remarkable, good or bad, how could God ever use someone like me?
- Why should I expect God to ___________? Who am I to ask such a thing?
We might doubt that we are at the right place, with the right person, or on the right path.
If you have never experienced any of what I am describing, then just wait…we all go through difficulties and situations that challenge our thoughts and beliefs—things that could potentially break our confidence and lead us to question our capability, our purpose, and even our identity.
This post has been particularly difficult for me to write as I feel like I am currently in the midst of doubting lots of things. I feel called to this work and certain ministries but have not met my goals, so I struggle with feelings of disappointment and failure. And various circumstances beyond our control have thrust our family into a difficult season which impede and distract me from my focus…to give just a few examples. Yes, my confidence has certainly been shaken.
But should it be? What should be the basis of our confidence? Is it the product of positive, nurturing parents? Is it simply a track record? Should we rely solely on our record of wins over losses, or is it a deeper issue of faith?
Before giving in to doubt, confusion, and ultimately being crushed in spirit, we must assess 5 Core Beliefs that help us grow in confidence.
Identity – If we are Christ followers, we are now co-heirs with Him: children of the King ( Gal 4:6-7 ). Our identity does not rest in what we do, the people or groups we associate with, or our accomplishments. Our true identity is found and rests in Christ. We are sons and daughters of the King.
Worth or Value – We were bought with a price. ( I Cor 6:19-20 ) Our value is not determined by others or how useful we are to them. Our value is based upon the price paid for us- that price was the life of God’s one and only Son. The greater the worth, the higher the price, and the life of Christ was the ultimate price!
Power or Ability– We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength ( Phil 4:13 ) / Greater is He that is in us than he that is in this world. ( I John 4:4 ) Our power again, does not rest in what we can or cannot do, as capable and successful we may be in life, but rather in the One who lives in us, and gives us HIS power to accomplish all that He desires!
Knowledge and Wisdom – In Christ are the power of God and the wisdom of God. ( I Cor 1:24 ) Our own knowledge or wisdom, cannot compare to the knowledge and wisdom of God, the author of it all. Experience and education are beneficial of course, and we learn much from them, but God’s plan was to give us HIS wisdom and knowledge through Christ!
Hope for the Future – Our future is known and has already been secured in Christ because “…everyone born of God overcomes the world. ( I John5:4 ) We spend a lot of time worrying about our temporal futures- that of the next day, month, or even years to come, but His Word guides us to the best possible future for a full life both today ( John 10:10 ) AND the eternal life to come!
If we can believe and exercise faith in these areas, do you really think you can fail? Don’t we already have everything we need to be confident in all things?
This passage in Proverbs addresses the very source of many of our doubts and insecurities in life:
“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight: they will be life for you, and ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid: when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” Prov 3:19-26
Challenge for today:
Which of these areas am I experiencing the most doubt? Is it in my identity, value, strength, knowledge, or the future?
Are those doubts based in truth? What does God’s Word say about this particular area in question (refer back to that section and re-read those passages via link provided.) Consider the Proverbs passage and how it addresses the very issues that fuel doubt in your heart and mind.
Remind yourself of the truth, seal it in your heart, your mind, even write it in a journal! Repeat these truths and others that support it until those doubts subside and are no longer prevailing thoughts.
Take an active step pressing into that truth- take a step or LEAP of faith and see if God doesn’t confirm it in some way or another!
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You can also find more helpful wisdom from Scripture as well as engaging stories of wisdom at work in the lives of people today in my book, Crowning Wisdom, An Inspirational Reference Guide to the Proverbs, available online in paperback or Kindle, and at the top of this page!