Trading Self-confidence For God-confidence
by Renee Swope
Wouldn’t it be great if becoming a Christian meant that all of our doubts and insecurities went away? Have you ever wondered why you lack self-confidence sometimes, even though you know you are a child of God?
Maybe God is calling you to lead a ministry, but doubt has convinced you that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough. Maybe you’ve wanted to change jobs and have the opportunity now, but a lack of self-confidence is holding you back. Or perhaps you wanted kids and now have a family, but sometimes doubt you have what it takes to be a good parent.
A few years ago, I was wrestling with self-doubt about some ministry commitments I’d made. One afternoon I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror getting ready for a large speaking event while begging God to zap me with self-confidence.
Although I was honored when the event leader called months before, I now questioned why I’d accepted the invitation. My internal dialogue was relentless… What if I forget what I’m going to say? What if my points aren’t that powerful? What if they don’t connect with my stories or laugh at my humor? What if… ?
When I turned to put something behind me, I noticed a huge nine-foot shadow on the wall and was surprised by how much bigger the shadow was than my five-foot, two-inch frame. It was distorting my image on the wall.
I realized my uncertainty had also created a huge shadow distorting my thoughts and emotions.
All of a sudden, I realized my uncertainty had also created a huge shadow —of doubt—distorting my thoughts and emotions. As I stood there looking at the humongous shadow, I sensed God whispering to my heart: You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.
Slowly I turned back toward the light above the mirror and was no longer standing in the shadow. Not only was I no longer standing in the shadow, I also realized I had created the shadow by blocking the light.
Shadows are created all around us when something blocks light. And so it is with the shadow of doubt. When we focus on ourselves and our lack of self-confidence, we cast a shadow of doubt in our minds by blocking the light of God’s Truth in our hearts. Yet, we were not designed to block the light or to be the light. We were created to live in the Light in such a way that our life stories tell about the Light and our confidence in Christ draws others to His Light.
I love how John the Baptist is described as “a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (John 1:7Ð8). The same is true for us. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
When we follow Jesus with our whole heart, we find our confidence in Him and our lives become a message about Him.
You see, we were created for glory and that is why we long for it. Yes, we were created for glory—just not our own. God created us to reveal His glory by giving us Jesus to live in us and through us, giving visibility to His invisible character. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
It’s time we let Jesus have His way in our lives. Let’s start praying for more God-confidence instead of self-confidence. And any time we find ourselves standing in the shadow of self-doubt, let’s turn toward the Light and live in the truth of His promises.
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