How To Find Confidence In A Critical World And Stay Humble
While completing my college studies many years ago, I wanted to obey God’s call to enter ministry but lacked the confidence to do so. My roommate’s father was Dr. George Sweeting, president of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I decided to ask for a meeting with Dr. Sweeting to get his advice.
Dr. George Sweeting
We discussed several areas that I might pursue but the most important one to me was ministry. That is what I wanted to do, however my feelings of insecurity resulted in indecision.
During that lunch, Dr. Sweeting addressed my concerns and gave me confidence that I needed to move forward. I am so thankful for his mentoring that day.
I know I am not alone in insecurity. The great Apostle Paul also felt insecure, apprehensive, self-doubting, and unsure of himself. He wondered if he was competent to spread the Gospel message.
He viewed himself as “the chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He severely regretted his former persecution of the followers of Jesus.
Feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and incompetence are all part of being human. And living in a sometimes criticizing world can cause us to have adverse reactions if we allow it.
These feelings can result from crises such as:
Losing a job
Unfulfilled goals and dreams
A health scare
Loss of a loved one
Fear of public speaking
Here are 2 ways that we can overcome a lack of confidence:
1. Identify Confidence Busters
When we know what is eroding our confidence, we can better combat it.
What shakes our confidence and creates insecurity? Paul points to three things:
Concern about the wellbeing of those we love
“Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia.” (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
Paul had “no peace of mind” because of concern for his friend Titus. He did not know where he was or if he was safe.
The responsibility of representing Christ
“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
Often we feel unequal to the tasks of ministry for Christ such as:
Teaching a class
Witnessing for Christ
Leading in ministry
When people say hurtful things
“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” (2 Corinthians 2:17)
People can make ridiculous and hurtful accusations that have no basis in truth as they did to Paul. He was accused of being in ministry for the money. If that was the case, he wouldn’t have needed a second job as a tent maker and would have left long before atrocities occurred such as:
2. Develop Confidence Builders
“Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
Gain confidence in Christ
True confidence is found when we embrace Christ. We gain an advocate, defender and faithful Friend. He uniquely gifts and gives a sense of worthiness to all who will receive Him.
Seek out true Christian friendship
Choose friends who are walking with the Lord – friends who will pray with and encourage you through God’s Word.
Remember your victory in Christ
Jesus conquered sin and death on our behalf. Christ has won the war on our behalf. We are winners even though sometimes we feel down and defeated. We are victorious in Christ!
Faithfully minister to others
Ministry to others relieves insecurity. We become confident when we are useful, and value ourselves as we are valued. Through ministry we lose our self-focus as we help others.
JOY = Jesus, then Others, then You.
Our competence comes from Christ who makes us competent. We can boast about God working through us but not about ourselves.