Sometimes when you are introduced to a small child you can spot whether they are an introvert or an extrovert. When I was a kid, I was very self-conscious. I was afraid to admit that I didn’t understand my teachers, I walked around alone on the playground at school, and I never felt as impressive as my 3 older Brothers. They always had friends, they were all naturally talented, and their grades were better than mine. People would have considered me an introvert. I thought I was a loser.
But that was never an excuse. In my home, my Parents always encouraged me and as I grew, my body matured and my confidence matured as well. By the time I left High School, I was pretty confident in myself. Self-confidence is usually seen in a positive light by the world’s standards, but I later learned that self-confidence is not a reliable trait when it comes to being a Christian. When I tried to use my self-confidence to share the Gospel it usually had a motivation of self-glorification and therefore became an opportunity for me to win an argument.
There are some people that feel small and there are others that feel big. In either case, one is not good and the other bad. They are both bad.
Imagine you are about to embark on a ship that crosses the Atlantic. This ship, we’ll deem the SS Self, has some shortcomings but it also has some advantages. An optimist would feel confident in the integrity of the SS Self by only focusing on the positives. A pessimist would question her fortitude based on the negatives. But what actually matters is not how someone feels, but whether the ship will actually make the journey.
Too many Christians act on their feelings. We know we should boldly proclaim the Gospel and be in the process of discipleship, but should this be done because you are self-confident? Should it be avoided because you lack self-confidence?
Paul said that he was not ashamed of the Gospel, not because he had self-confidence, but because the Gospel was the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16). The greatest Apostle was not self-confident. He was Gospel confident. He told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 that the Spirit God gave does not make us timid, but powerful, loving and self-disciplined. This means that if you are a naturally timid person, you don’t need self-confidence to minister. You need the Spirit of God.
So the self-confident people of the Church ought to place their confidence on the Gospel and the timid people of the Church ought to find their power in the Spirit of God. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight; using self-confidence will only lead to self-glory and pride comes before the fall (Prov 16:18), and don’t be afraid of a guy with a knife when you’re holding a gun; God uses your weakness to show himself strong (2 Cor 12:9).
Being timid is not an excuse for disobedience, and being self-confident has no value in the Kingdom of God.
Lord, please help self-confident people to know we are weak without you and help us weak people to know we are strong with you. We pray that you bless us with your grace to do your will and forgive us for placing our confidence in our abilities. We trust the words of our Lord “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:12) and pray that we may experience your power so that we may glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
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