Can I be honest with you? I don't struggle in the area of lacking confidence. That may sound prideful or arrogant. It may seem a bit forward, I'm just being honest here. Don't get me wrong, I have deep insecurities - too many to list on this page. (I really don't want to list them anyway!) But I don't LACK confidence.
You don't either.
I'm not trying to psycho-analyze anyone here, and I am, by no standards, a counselor or psychiatrist.
Every one of us has confidence. We take our hopes, trust, belief, strengths, dreams, abilities, desires … all the things that make up confidence … and we put them in something or someone. We see someone who has a low self-esteem or extreme insecurities and we qualify them as having "low" self-confidence, or we see someone who has a high level of belief in their own abilities and call them "over" confident.
It's a tricky thing, really. We don't want to put too much confidence in ourselves lest we become prideful and arrogant (after all, Jesus died for you, you didn't save yourself), but at the same time we don't want to degrade or undervalue who God made us to be lest we cripple ourselves with a false sense of negative self-worthy (after all, Jesus died for you, you were worth saving).
That's why I believe the issue isn't really whether we HAVE confidence; the issue is what we place our confidence IN.
The person who has low "self-confidence" doesn't lack confidence, they simply don't place their confidence in themselves. The person who is "over-confident" is placing their confidence into themselves only.
What is the object of your confidence? What do you place your confidence in?
If you are a Christ-follower take a minute to really dig this one out …
- When you say you are confident that God is going to do something on your behalf but it doesn't happen fast enough, do you pull your confidence from God and put it in yourself, taking matters into your own hands?
- When you say you are confident the Lord will answer your prayers, but after a while His silence causes you to change your request in a way that it appears He said "yes," is your confidence in Him, or in an affirmative answer?
- How about when you talk to all your prayer partners about a sin issue instead of confessing it to God?
- Or when you skip seeking Him out at all because you think you already know His answer?
So many times we think we are placing our confidence in Him, but we are really only placing our confidence in what we can do or what we can understand.
I read though David's thoughts in the Bible - his story, his pleadings, his praises, his struggles, his anger with God - and I marvel at his confidence. I believe there was a time that he place all of his confidence in the wrong person (himself) and we all know how that turned out (Bathsheba, Uriah, the death of his own son). It was here that David's heart changed. He was broken. His confidence in himself was shattered from his hold and rebuilt in the Lord. His words in Psalm 51 - crying out for God to forgive Him according to His (the Lord's) mercy, asking God to restore the joy of HIS (God's) salvation. Then his words in Psalm 57:
"I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me …"- Psalm 57:2
And then later:
"My heart is confident in You, O God, my heart is confident! No wonder I can sing your praises!"- Psalm 57:7
What are you placing your confidence in today?
- In your power, or His power in you?
- In your desires, or His desires for you?
- In your abilities, or in His capabilities?
- In His answers, or in Him alone?
When our confidence is in the right place, we can pray like David:
"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.All day long I put my hope in you."- Psalm 25:4,5
(Now THAT'S confidence!)