If you were going to have open heart surgery, would you want a surgeon that was confident in his ability or one that was not that confident? I think most would say they would want the confident surgeon.


Every Christian should learn to have self-confidence especial when it comes to their eternal destination. If we are living our life for God and fighting the good fight of faith there is no reason for us not to be confident that heaven will be our home. Sometimes we struggle with low self-confidence and some even have a problem with over self-confidence. Either one of these extremes can cause us to fall short of serving God as we should.


Let us examine some of the problems that a low self-confidence can cause. Our first example comes from time of Moses when the children of Israel were supposed to conquer the promise land. These people had already witnessed the power of God as He caused them to be freed from their Egyptian bondage. They had already seen that God was with them and could take care of them. When Moses sent out twelve spies to see what the promise land was like, they came back after forty days and ten of them gave a bad report. They described it as a land that flows with milk and honey (Num. 13:27), but they also said that it had many strong people with fortified cities (Num. 13:28-29).


Caleb spoke up next:


Numbers 13:30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."  31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we."  32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  33 "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."


Caleb had the self-confidence that all the children should have had since God was on their side, but they allowed these ten spies to cause them to lose their self-confidence. A low self-confidence caused them to feel like weak grasshoppers compared to the people in the promise land. Thinking about those giants and trying to overcome those fortified cities caused them to lose their confidence in God and in themselves. All of them except for Caleb and Joshua started crying out that they wanted to return to Egypt so they could be slaves one again.


When we lose our confidence in God and in ourselves, we lose our ambition to move forward in our Christianity. Living the Christian life can be challenging at times, and the road that leads to heaven is a difficult one. Sometimes it is tempting to return to our old lifestyle when were living for ourselves and living in sin because it is easier to embrace sin then to resist it. We will certainly face trying times in our life that will seem like giants or fortified cities, but we must never allow our confidence in God or ourselves to waiver. When God is on our side, it does not matter how big the giants are or how strong the fortified cities are, we can be victorious because with God all things are possible (Mt. 19:26). Joshua and Caleb understood this:


Numbers 14:6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;  7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.  8 "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'  9 "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."


Unfortunately, the children of Israel would not listen to Joshua and Caleb, and they were even going to stone them for being so confident, but God intervened. God was so disappointed with their low self-confidence that He would not allow them to enter the promise land. Only those under the age of twenty along with Caleb and Joshua would be allowed to enter the promise land some thirty eight years later.


Having a lack of self-confidence can cause us not to stand up for God or to confess Him before man, which can keep us from entering the promise land of heaven. So, let us make sure that we always strive to have the spirit of Joshua and Caleb.


Our second example of what low self-confidence can cause is found during the time of King Saul. In 1 Samuel 13, we learn that Saul was attacking the Philistines. After the attack, the Philistines gathered their men together to attack the children of Israel, and this made them distressed and scared.


1 Samuel 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits.  7 And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.  8 ¶ Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.  9 So Saul said, "Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt offering.  10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.  11 And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash,  12 "then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering."  13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.  14 "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."


Saul’s low self-confidence caused him to sin against God. When he felt the pressure of his enemies closing in, he decided not to wait on Samuel to make a burnt offering, and He did it himself. Since he lost his confidence it caused him to compromise God’s commands. Since he did this:


Samuel tells him, “For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue” (1 Sam. 13:13-14). 


Sometimes Christians make poor decision when they feel pressured as well. When the world presses in hard trying to get us to accept what society deems appropriate, those with low self-confidence will compromise God’s Word to appease the world. However, this is a mistake because God’s Word should never be compromised no matter how hard the world tries to make us change. If we do compromise God’s Word, then we sin, and God will not be pleased with us because He is not pleased with worldly ways. We must be careful not to make bad decisions because of low self-confidence or we could find ourselves separated from God.



Now let us examine some of the problems that over self-confidence can cause. Our first example comes from the Tower of Babel.


Genesis 11:1  Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.  2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.  3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.  4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."  5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.  6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.  7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."  8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.  9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.


These people had become so overconfident in themselves they decided they did not need God. So, they set out to build this mighty tower to make a name for themselves, but God showed them that no amount of self-confidence could make them more powerful than God.


This kind of over self-confidence is happening today. Some have become overconfident in our abilities and technology that they find themselves relying more on what we can do instead of what God can do. In many ways, the people of the world have become just like the people at the tower of Babel. Many are trying to make a name for themselves, and they do not want to share any credit with God so they teach that God does not exist. Those who buy into this idea will push God out of their lives and will rely on man, but we must understand that man cannot save himself. This is the danger of over self-confidence. It can make us think we are something great when we are not. If we get caught up in this way of thinking it can keep us out of heaven. Only God can give us eternal life, so the next time we find ourselves relying more on man than God, let us remind ourselves just how weak we are without God in our lives.


Our second example of what over self-confidence can cause comes from the apostle Peter toward the end of Jesus’ ministry on the earth:


Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'  32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."  33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."  34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."  35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.


Peter was so confident in himself that he thought he would never deny Jesus, but Jesus tells him that he will. Then Peter and the other disciples claim that they will be willing to die with Jesus. While being confident in ourselves is a good thing, we can get to the point where we are too confident. Overconfidence can cause us to fail just as it caused Peter to fail:


Matthew 26:69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."  70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."  71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."  72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"  73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you."  74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.  75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.


Peter is great example of what over self-confidence can cause. Peter’s over self-confidence caused him to fall hard. Not only did he deny Jesus once, he denied him three times. Being overconfident can cause us to be unprepared to face the challenges before us because in our mind we think we were are ready when were are not. No wonder Paul said, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Also writer of Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).


When we become overconfident in ourselves we start becoming lax, and we make it easy for sin to ensnare us.  As Christians, we must make sure that we always try to remain humble and not think to highly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). When we start thinking to highly ourselves, we can even convince ourselves that we cannot sin, yet John says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:10).


If we find ourselves becoming cocky, we need to remind ourselves that over self-confidence can cause us to fall hard because the more cocky we become, the less prepared we will be to face the battles before us. When we can learn to have the right kind of self-confidence, we will be able to express the same thought that Paul did at the end of his life:


2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.


Here are six ways to help us have right amount of self-confidence:


  1. We need to believe in ourselves and realize that we are just as important as everyone else. One thing that will help us to understand this is by reminding ourselves that when we became Christians we became one with Christ, and we are equally important in the eyes of God (Gal. 3:28-29).
  2. We have a great advantage over the non-Christians because we can draw strength from God knowing that we are part of His family. Paul explains it this way:


Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.  11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


  1. We can also increase our self-confidence by reading the Word of God because it will remind us of all the promises God has made and how He always keeps His promises.
  2. If we find ourselves struggling with our self-confidence we can always pray for strength in this area because as Christian, we can boldly come to the thrown of grace knowing that God will help us (Heb. 4:14-16).   


  1. When it comes to over self-confidence, we need to remind ourselves of just how insignificant we are in comparison to God, and how we would not exist if it was not for Him.


  1. If anyone had a reason to become overconfident it was the apostle Paul, but notice what helped him not to become overconfident:


2 Corinthians 12:6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Paul had this thorn in his flesh, which some think may have been a problem with his eyes. Whatever it was, it kept him from becoming overconfident, and it reminded him daily that he needed to rely on the grace of God. So, he used his weakness to make his faith in God stronger.  


We can also use the weaknesses in our life to help us to remain humble. Every time we get sick or we have aches and pains, let it be a constant reminder of just how fragile we are and how our lives are like vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (Jam. 4:14). When we use our weakness like Paul did, we can make sure that we do not become overconfident in ourselves.