I have often pondered over the significance of self-confidence and whether or not it is biblically sound to consider one’s self as such. Quite often, I hear of preachers and pastors telling the people that having confidence in themselves is so important, because it enables people to obtain the successful life that God has planned for them. But as I traverse through the Scriptures, I find that it is not the confidence that we have in ourselves that brings Believers to a place of success, but rather our total confidence in the Lord. Consider the following Scriptures:
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:8-9
“For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26
“In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14
“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” Psalm 146:3
“Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.” Psalm 40:4
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
At no point does the Bible instruct us to have faith or confidence in ourselves. Instead, we are instructed to put our entire reliance on the Lord. By simply knowing the Lord and understanding His ways, we inevitably establish ourselves on a solid foundation that can never be shaken. By understanding that it is the Lord that empowers us for success, we are able to create—as He created—a world that is full of joy, peace, and righteousness. In fact, our knowledge of the Lord allows us to possess the power that He gives in terms of gaining wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
To the contrary, all those who put their confidence in powerful people, including themselves, will fall, for as the Word teaches us, pride goes before the fall. I believe this is the fine line between confidence and pride. Pride teaches us to put all our faith in ourselves and our abilities. Confidence, however, comes from the Lord, and in fact is the Lord, for as the Bible expresses,
“For the Lord will be your confidence” (Proverbs 3:26).
It is easy to fall into pride. This was Lucifer’s greatest folly (Isaiah 14:12). Here was an arch angel who stood in the very presence of the Lord. His beauty radiated with glory; yet pride was found in his heart. In this same light, if we are not careful, we can easily revel in our excellence, our radiance, our glory, claiming that it was our own doing that brought forth this success. We can develop self-confidence or self-belief or self-faith to the point that we neglect the very One who brought forth this glory. When we reach this state, the Lord will humble us, which brings embarrassment and shame.
How can we avoid this? By maintaining our confidence in the Lord, by finding our confidence in Him. There is safety in that. There is security in that. No one fails when faith rests in the Lord.
As you consider your own situation, think of where your confidence lies. Is it in you or is it in the Lord?