Confidence is a struggle. Human perception can paralyze people and cause them to second guess their actions. It leads to overthinking circumstances and issues that bring the fear of man to a person’s life and introduce inaction or strong senses of inability. This shows that people pleasing is a terrible master. Contrary to popular thought, someone doesn’t have to be labeled shy or introverted to feel helpless and struggle with boldness and assertiveness. A person may be confident one area of life but may feel inadequate and inept in other areas of life. But how does the Christian remedy this lack of confidence? Does the Bible seem to address this? I’ve contemplated a few principles that Christians can meditate on to increase confidence in their life. There may be other items to add to this list, but these preliminary truths can help build some confidence to your life as a Christian.
1. Building Confidence in God’s Approval. A lack of confidence usually connects with the idolatry of man’s approval. God calls the Christian to live for His approval whether it comes with man’s recognition or not. Christians obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29), and fear the one who can destroy both body and soul (Matt 10:28). A correct, holy fear of God causes all other fears to diminish. Pray to be approved by God in the end as a good and faithful servant who has pleased Christ in the marathon of life. Man’s evaluation is temporary at best, but God’s evaluation will last forever. In the end, only God’s opinion matters. That brings confidence.
2. Building Confidence through Focusing Less on Self. Fear and timidity increases in the heart if there is too much of a focus on self. This goes against the worldly proposition of “self-confidence” and “self-esteem” as personal motivators and liberators. On the contrary, a sinful elevation of self is slavery and a heavy burden. Some go at great lengths to worship themselves and they will protect their life and comforts at any cost. However, God requires Christians to focus more on others and less on self. Confidence increases in the servant heart but diminishes in the selfish heart. The Bible teaches that more godly success comes when we love ourselves less and increase our love for God and others (Phil 2:3-5.
3. Building Confidence in the Gospel and Salvation. The ending of First John is all about the confidence a Christian has in knowing eternal life through Christ Jesus (1 John 5:13-21). Confidence in the permanence of salvation can be invigorating. Knowing God has secured your soul forever and that it is imperishable and cannot be taken away is a safe haven unlike any other (1 Peter 1). It brings a spirit of invincibility. Security of salvation helps the Christian tackle any and every circumstance, knowing that the trial or the issue has no bearing on his eternal state. The worse thing that can happen is for the trial to take his life. But whatever that trial may be, even if it come from Satan himself, it has no claim his soul which belongs to the Almighty One.
4. Building Confidence in God’s Unique Design for You. As stated before, “self-esteem” is not something to emphasize as a Christian since it is a facade for pride. However, this does not mean that we should not be content and satisfied with how God created us (Psalm 139:14). God has wired every person in this world differently. Each of His children are different and unique in their own way. Each have their own gifting and place in the body of Christ. Find confidence in the fact that God created you to be you, and not to be somebody else. This truth will liberates your fears. He desires for you to glorify Him with your gifting, abilities, and talents.
5. Building Confidence in God’s Continued Growth. Failure can discourage. Mistakes can break someone down. But all of these things must be seen in the context of progressive sanctification (2 Cor 3:18). Everything that happens in the life of the Christian is intended to grow the Christian. Confidence comes when someone remembers that God is control and that He has provided opportunities for growth in every circumstance. Confidence thrives in the heart that trusts God knowing He is using the present to mold our future. Our faith rests boldly with the God who is still growing us even in the spiritual growing pains.