A Christians approach to life situations part 10

Self Confidence

 

Having self confidence is a wonderful thing and every Christian should have it and be confident that if they are living their life for God and fighting the good fight of faith that they will have a home in heaven just as God has promised. However, self confidence can be bad when we either have low self confidence or over confidence. If we go to either one of these extremes it can cause us to fall short of serving God as we should.

 

First, lets take a look at a low self confidence and what problems it can cause. Our first example comes from Moses. Tell story of Moses and how he didnít feel confident that he was the right man for the job.

 

Exodus 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."11 So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?12 "Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."13 But he said, "O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send."14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.

 

Discuss how we are like this today when we make up excuses for serving God.

 

Next example tell story of the 12 spies being sent out to the land of milk and honey and their lack of confidence.

 

Numbers 13:30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we."32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.33 "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

 

Because of their lack of confidence they would not be allowed to enter the promise land. Having a lack of confidence can cause us not to stand up for God or to confess him before men which can keep us from entering into the promise land of heaven.

 

In 1 Sam. 13 Saul started attacking some of the Philistines and these Philistines were now coming together to attach the children of Israel and this made them distressed and scared.

 

 

1 Samuel 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits.7 And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.8 ∂ Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.9 So Saul said, "Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt offering.10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.11 And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash,12 "then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering."13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.14 "But now your kingdom shall not continue.

 

His low self confidence caused him to sin against God and to lose his kingdom. That is what low self confidence can do it us, it can cause us to sin against God and break his commands.

 

How can we overcome low self confidence?

 

1. We need to believe in ourselves and realize that we are just as important as everyone else. One thing that will help us to understand this is by reminding ourselves that when we became Christians we became one with Christ and we are equal with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

2. We need to realize that God loves and that He will always be there for us.

3. We have a great a advantage over non-Christians because we can draw strength and grow in confidence knowing that we are part of Godís family. Paul explains it this way,

 

Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

We can draw strength from God by reading the Word of God because it will remind us of all the promises He has made and how He always keeps His promises and we also learn that anytime we are struggling with low self confidence we can always pray for help in this area with boldness as,

 

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

Now lets take look at being over confident and what it cause.

 

Genesis 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

 

These people had become so confident that they decided they wanted to make a name for themselves and they had left God out of their plans and God put a stop to this by confusing their languages.

 

This happens today as well. Sometimes we become over confident in our abilities and our technology and we end up relying more on ourselves that we do God. Because of this we can find ourselves being like these people in our example because we want to make a name for ourselves and we leave God out of our plans. The more over confident we become the more we push God out of lives.

 

Another great example comes from our lesson last Sunday night about King Sennacherib. Remember how over confident he was. God allowed him to conquer many foreign nations and even destroy the northern kingdom of Israel. Then he was trying to destroy the kingdom of Judah and he was boasting to King Hezekiah that the God of Israel could not protect them no more than any of the other gods of the other nations that he had destroyed.

 

Because of his over confidence God humbled this man by sending an angle who killed 185,000 of his men while they were sleeping and God didnít let this king set one foot into Jerusalem.

 

This is the danger of over confidence. It can make you think that you are something great when really are not and it if you get caught up in this type of thinking it can keep you from stepping foot into heaven.

 

Another thing that over confidence can do is deceive us and great example of this is what happened to Peter.

 

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.

 

Peter was so confident in his self that he thought he would never deny Jesus, but Jesus tells him that he will. Then Peter and the disciples all claim that they will be willing to die with Jesus.

 

Matthew 26:69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you."74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.

 

We should never allow ourselves to become over confident because if we do open ourselves up to fall and to fall hard. This is why Paul tells us to learn from the examples of those in the OT and then he says this in,

 

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

 

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

 

When we become over confident in ourselves we start becoming lax and we make it easy for sin to ensnare us. As Christians we must make sure that we always try to remain humble and not think to highly of ourselves as Paul says in,

 

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

 

When start thinking to highly ourselves we can even convince ourselves that we cannot sin, yet John tells us,

 

1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

 

Now, lets look at some way that we The way that we can keep ourselves from become over confident.

 

1. We need study our Bible and reading about those who that thought to highly of themselves and note what happened to them.

 

2. We need remind ourselves of just how insignificant we are in comparison to God and how we wouldnít even exist if it wasnít for Him.

 

If anyone had a reason to become over confident it was the apostle Paul, but notice what helped him not to become over confident.

 

2 Corinthians 12:6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Paul had this thorn in his flesh, which some think may have been a problem with his eyes. Whatever it was it kept him from becoming over confident and it reminded him daily that he needed to rely upon the grace of God and because of that his infirmity became something that would make his faith in God even stronger.

 

3. This is another tool that we can use in our life to help us to remain humble. Every time we get sick or we have aches and pains, let it be a constant reminder to us just how fragile we and how our lives are like vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. If we will do this we can make sure that we donít become over confident in our selves.

 

In this lesson we have learned that every Christian should be confident in God promise of heaven if we live our lives for Him. However, we have to be careful that donít have a low self confidence or it will cause us not to serve God as we should and it cause us sin and even keep us from making it to heaven. We also learned that over confidence isnít good either because it can make us think to highly of ourselves and put God out our lives. It can also deceive us and make us fall really hard when we do sin and it can keep us out of heaven as well. So, its important that we maintain a healthy self confidence level by studying Godís word and learning from the examples that we are given and realizing that we need Him and we can trust is His promises. Finally, we should always pray to God to help us to have a healthy self confidence level. If we will do this, then when we get to the end of our lives we can say with confidence what Paul said at the end of his life.

 

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.