Confidence (Proverbs 3:25-27; 14:26-27; Job. 13:15; Philippians 4:13; Heb 4: 14-16) enables us to rely on the Lord for all things in our life. We can push forward in the direction that we are called because He is governing and He is sovereign. As we look to Him with trust, and not to others or ourselves, we have the God of the universe in us. Nothing is greater than that! We can live our lives in holiness and Christian character, and react to all the situations we encounter with the focus on who we are in Christ, as He is our confidence. Confidence also makes us realize we are not responsible for the results--only the faith and obedience.
Doubt, Uncertainty, Disbelief, and Distrust are the opposites. These will cause us to seek our limited thinking, placing confidence in feeble, temporary abilities, and in things that do not last and have little importance. Self-confidence will elevate us as godlike, becoming the principle authority and reason for life, and not Christ! We will lack confidence to serve the Lord, and engage in fear because our faith is limited to the situation, not in Christ (Matt. 8:26).
Confidence is not to be placed in our abilities or accomplishments. It is not to be measured in wealth, health, or by clothes, career, friends, positions, power, or any worldly thing. All of these pursuits of life that we think are important are finite, and will quickly burn away, while abiding in Christ is forever. God does not place our value on what we do for a living; rather it is who we are in Him, and our growth in character that He values. Yes, we should strive to be wise and discerning in all the decisions we make, and make the most of the opportunities, relationships, and spiritual gifts we are given. But, the primary and principle aspects of any decisions we make are to be made in the light of what Christ has done for us. Thus, our confidence is in who we are in Him. This is our motivation in all of our life's pursuits--from relationships to decisions, how we are treated, and how we respond to others.
A Christians is to balance confidence and esteem by the temperance of the other characters. Pride and arrogance are the very worst things a Christian can exhibit in the sight of God! Our confidence is to be sure and righteous--without pride. Pride elevates me, whereas Christian confidence elevates Christ and allows Him to empower us! It is seeing life as an adventure, and the temporary place to learn and grow. It is not the only place for us, as we are made for eternity, not for this world. Thus, we can face whatever life may throw at us, weather it out, and become better, stronger, and closer to Him in His service. Because we have the view of Christ in our site, we can see His opportunities for learning and growth, not just the situation we face.
Bad things become bad when we lack the confidence in Christ to endure and learn from them. Things get worse when we lack the faith and mental composure to deal with a crisis. It is our holding on to His holy love and grace that builds our strength and confidence, and gives us perseverance. He gives us the ability and strength to reach beyond our grasp!
- How do I exhibit Confidence in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop an attitude and willingness to have Confidence?
- What blocks me from being Confident?
- How can I make Confidence function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
- How would you define Confidence?
- Do you strive to be Confident as a reflection of who you are in Christ, and what He did for you?
- How does Doubt counteract Confidence?
- What happens to our relationship with God, and with others, when we become pursuers of self-esteem, rather than having Confidence in Christ?
- When have you most been filled with Confidence?
- In what situation did you fail to be Confident when you should have been?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with being more Confident?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Confidence into action in a specific instance. Do I trust in my personal abilities to make decisions, and feel confident about what I am called to do? Do I trust in my flesh, or in Christ? How does this effect my decisions? Is there a place in my life where faith is asleep, untouched by God? What can I do about that (John 17:3)?
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Gen. 3:8-13; 20:8-12; 1 Sam. 28:3-7; Mark 6:14-29)
© 2002, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org