For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NLT
I was born with a healthy dose—in most things.
If first-born children tend to have a healthy dose of self-confidence, I had my share. Although I hated my looks in high school—I was as skinny as a rail and never had the popular girls’ attention—I didn’t feel that way before or after. Perhaps because my parents were Type A personalities … go-getters … confident that they could tackle anything in front of them.
I don’t remember my parents ever saying, “You can do anything you set your mind to do,” but they instilled the message in me with their encouragement and through their example. I don’t know that I’ve accomplished anything spectacular in my life, but I do have confidence that I can do whatever God brings into my life.
Some researchers believe confidence is genetic. Even if confidence isn’t in the genes, some children appear to have a more predisposed mindset that leads them easily to self-confidence.
Albert Bandura, psychology professor emeritus at Stanford University, believes four components build self-confidence: mastery experiences, social modeling, positive reinforcement, and positive attitude. Parents—and other significant others in a child’s life—give and reinforce these elements. When present, the child is likely to grow up with self-efficacy.
But a word of caution: too much confidence, or confidence gained through faulty means, has adverse effects. Even believers can have overconfidence in themselves, much like the religious leaders Jesus encountered. This leads to pride … and our downfall.
Paul seemed to have a healthy dose of self-confidence, but he didn’t base it on his genes or in a haughty, stuck-up attitude. He recognized his confidence originated from Christ in him.
If self-confidence originates from the right sources and expresses itself in the proper form, it is healthy, but the reverse of what Paul said also holds true: without Christ, I can’t do anything. Sure, I may accomplish things along life’s way—even great things—but without Christ in the picture they are vain … chasing after the wind.
Our confidence should come from knowing Christ has forgiven our sins, released us from condemnation, and empowered us with His Spirit—the source of everything we’re able to accomplish.
Let your confidence in everything be in Christ. He is the source and should get the credit for everything you accomplish along life’s way.
Prayer: Father, for all we accomplish, we give You the glory.
Tweetable: In what does your confidence lie?
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