Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Have you ever lacked self-confidence? Maybe there was a task you had to do, and you felt too inferior? About 10 years ago I taught my wife, Esmie, how to drive a car. I would not recommend this for everyone, but I got lucky and we are still married! She was so scared wheeling the car around in that empty, tree lined parking lot, trying to parallel park, or even to jockey the car squarely between the lines in a parking slot. The steering wheel was like a hot iron in her hands! Gradually, by trial and error, she learned, gained self-confidence, and now drives like a NASCAR driver.
Regarding self-confidence, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He was referring to Christ’s help. The literal meaning is to have the power to do difficult tasks.
It is important to recognize that Paul referred not only to physical, spiritual, and emotional strength, but also to abilities, opportunities, and skills that God gives to each of us. These are not things we give ourselves, but things that God grows and weaves into our lives.
Some argue that maybe we should not use the term, “self-confidence,” but rather, “Christ confidence.” But, I think either is fine, because we activate and take action on the belief that Christ has given us everything we need to accomplish what He gives us to do. Some might even call that special certainty, faith.
However, we must learn to develop those abilities – and not think that God will just automatically plop some confidence into our fearful hearts and stiffen our shaky knees. It is through trial, error, effort, and trust in God that we learn, and gradually get better and better and gain greater confidence. Eventually, we develop the attitude, “Yeah, I can do that.”
That’s what Esmie did. Now she just hops in the car, cranks up the engine, and off she goes. But, I am not sure she is ready for Manila traffic yet.
Dr. Newman teaches at Faith Evangelical Seminary, Tacoma. He and his wife, Esmie, have their website, www.Bible-teaching-about.com. It includes an online Bible academy, free Bible studies, affordable ebooks, and you can send in any Bible questions you have. Scripture from the New American Standard Bible, © the Lockman Foundation, 1960-73, used by permission.
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