Tuesday 22 May 2012
IS SELF-CONFIDENCE DESIRABLE?
That depends on how you define it. Is your confidence mainly grounded in yourself or God?
No one will ever listen to you or follow you if you lack confidence. Can a general lead his army into battle if he lacks confidence – that which reflects guts as well as clear thinking, enabling him to map out a strategy to fight his enemies?
Confidence is not only desirable but crucial and necessary.
A person’s confidence is a reflection of his or her self-esteem*, which is often built on past experiences, successes, achievements and the commendation he or she receives from others.
But confidence has its drawbacks. Too much confidence can lead to pride. Overconfidence (when a person has absolutely no anxiety) can also cause poor performance, according to Yerkes-Dodson Law.
When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Elsewhere he states that his competence is from God and not from himself (2 Corinthians 3: 4-6):
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
So much for confidence — or rather, the lack of it — in a spiritual leader. With knees knocking and butterflies fluttering around in his stomach, he still became the greatest apostle of all time and the one who was largely responsible for setting the tone of New Testament (NT) doctrine — as he wrote most of the books in the NT.
One may lack the credentials which the world usually looks up to. But when it comes to the work of His kingdom, it’s God’s empowerment that matters most.
Let us bow down in humble adoration before God. Let us lay down all our achievements and degrees as well as our inborn gifts and talents at His feet. And ask Him to make them subservient to His special anointing on our lives.
David relied on the sling and five stones to slay Goliath. He had to lay down the heavy, cumbersome armour and sword — weapons traditionally relied upon to win a battle.
Let us rely primarily on the Holy Spirit rather than place our confidence on what we have achieved or our natural giftings. And then make confident strides into battle and advance His kingdom.
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF-ESTEEM AND PRIDE?