I was answering questions from the students at Capernwray Hall in England when I was there teaching last week. The students submit questions to the two lecturers during the week and then on Friday morning we answer the questions. And one of the questions dealt with self-confidence; “Does lack of self-confidence come from the devil?” Interesting thinking went into my answer to that question.
John 8:44 does tell us that the devil is the father of lies. He whispers to us and tells us we’re not good enough, we’ll always be broken, we don’t have the abilities to do what God has called us to do. We are shamed by the evil one, he lies to us over and over again and that erodes our self-confidence. He puts other people in our path that cause us to compare ourselves: “I’m not as good as that person. I’m not as smart as that person. I’m not as good looking or as popular or as accepted as that person.” All of those come from the heart of the evil one in order to destroy our self-confidence.
What do we do to combat that battle with the evil one? We need to change how we view ourselves. Philippians 4:13 says we “can do all things through Him who gives us strength.” Hebrews 13:6 talks about how we can say with confidence that no man can do anything against us. We need to look at ourselves the way God sees us. He does not see us as broken. He sees us as His children, and as those for whom His redemptive work creates healing and creates an acceptance of who we are to Him.
Let me put it a different way. Ephesians 4 talks about how we need to put off the old man and put on the new man. The old man is all about lack. It’s all about what we don’t have. It’s about shaming sin and lack of confidence. The new man lives in the riches of Christ, and in the riches of knowing that God has equipped us and allowed us to do what He’s called us to do. God has not only chosen us, but He has given us all the things necessary for us to be powerful and in line with what His good will is for us. We walk in the newness of Christ. We walk as the new man.
Self-confidence doesn’t come because we just think about it differently, or because we do mental gymnastics to somehow think we have a confidence we achieve on our own. It’s much deeper than that. God imputes into us the new man. We put off the old, we put on the new. And part of that new man is that we walk in the confidence of Christ.