If you were going to have open heart surgery, would you want a surgeon that was confident in his ability or one that was not that confident? I think most would say they would want the confident surgeon.
Every Christian should learn to have self-confidence especial when it comes to their eternal destination. If we are living our life for God and fighting the good fight of faith there is no reason for us not to be confident that heaven will be our home. Sometimes we struggle with low self-confidence and some even have a problem with over self-confidence. Either one of these extremes can cause us to fall short of serving God as we should.
Let us examine some of the problems that a low self-confidence
can cause. Our first example comes from time of Moses when the children of
Caleb spoke up next:
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
Caleb had the
self-confidence that all the children should have had since God was on their
side, but they allowed these ten spies to cause them to lose their
self-confidence. A low self-confidence caused them to feel like weak
grasshoppers compared to the people in the promise land. Thinking about those
giants and trying to overcome those fortified cities caused them to lose their
confidence in God and in themselves. All of them except for Caleb and Joshua
started crying out that they wanted to return to
When we lose our confidence in God and in ourselves, we lose our ambition to move forward in our Christianity. Living the Christian life can be challenging at times, and the road that leads to heaven is a difficult one. Sometimes it is tempting to return to our old lifestyle when were living for ourselves and living in sin because it is easier to embrace sin then to resist it. We will certainly face trying times in our life that will seem like giants or fortified cities, but we must never allow our confidence in God or ourselves to waiver. When God is on our side, it does not matter how big the giants are or how strong the fortified cities are, we can be victorious because with God all things are possible (Mt. 19:26). Joshua and Caleb understood this:
Numbers 14:6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' 9 "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."
Having a lack of self-confidence can cause us not to stand up for God or to confess Him before man, which can keep us from entering the promise land of heaven. So, let us make sure that we always strive to have the spirit of Joshua and Caleb.
Our second example of
what low self-confidence can cause is found during the time of King Saul. In 1
Samuel 13, we learn that Saul was attacking the Philistines. After the attack,
the Philistines gathered their men together to attack the children of
1 Samuel 13:6 When
the men of
Saul’s low self-confidence caused him to sin against God. When he felt the pressure of his enemies closing in, he decided not to wait on Samuel to make a burnt offering, and He did it himself. Since he lost his confidence it caused him to compromise God’s commands. Since he did this:
Samuel tells him, “For now the LORD would have established
your kingdom over
Sometimes Christians make poor decision when they feel pressured as well. When the world presses in hard trying to get us to accept what society deems appropriate, those with low self-confidence will compromise God’s Word to appease the world. However, this is a mistake because God’s Word should never be compromised no matter how hard the world tries to make us change. If we do compromise God’s Word, then we sin, and God will not be pleased with us because He is not pleased with worldly ways. We must be careful not to make bad decisions because of low self-confidence or we could find ourselves separated from God.
Now let us examine some
of the problems that over self-confidence can cause. Our first example comes
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
These people had become so overconfident in themselves they decided they did not need God. So, they set out to build this mighty tower to make a name for themselves, but God showed them that no amount of self-confidence could make them more powerful than God.
This kind of over
self-confidence is happening today. Some have become overconfident in our
abilities and technology that they find themselves relying more on what we can
do instead of what God can do. In many ways, the people of the world have
become just like the people at the
Our second example of what over self-confidence can cause comes from the apostle Peter toward the end of Jesus’ ministry on the earth:
Matthew 26:30 And
when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the
Peter was so confident in himself that he thought he would never deny Jesus, but Jesus tells him that he will. Then Peter and the other disciples claim that they will be willing to die with Jesus. While being confident in ourselves is a good thing, we can get to the point where we are too confident. Overconfidence can cause us to fail just as it caused Peter to fail:
Matthew 26:69 Now
Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying,
"You also were with Jesus of
Peter is great example of what over self-confidence can cause. Peter’s over self-confidence caused him to fall hard. Not only did he deny Jesus once, he denied him three times. Being overconfident can cause us to be unprepared to face the challenges before us because in our mind we think we were are ready when were are not. No wonder Paul said, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Also writer of Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).
When we become overconfident 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 (Rom. 12:3). When we start thinking to highly ourselves, we can even convince ourselves that we cannot sin, yet John says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:10).
If we find ourselves becoming cocky, we need to remind ourselves that over self-confidence can cause us to fall hard because the more cocky we become, the less prepared we will be to face the battles before us. When we can learn to have the right kind of self-confidence, we will be able to express the same thought that Paul did 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.
Here are six ways to help us have right amount of self-confidence:
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.
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 overconfident, and it reminded him daily that he needed to rely on the grace of God. So, he used his weakness to make his faith in God stronger.
We can also use the weaknesses 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 of just how fragile we are and how our lives are like vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (Jam. 4:14). When we use our weakness like Paul did, we can make sure that we do not become overconfident in ourselves.