The Two Aspects of Godly Fear-1 (1)

by Paul Kearns

Are you a confident person? If so, what is the source of that confidence? Is it your strength, looks, abilities? If you don’t believe you’re a confident person, why is that? If you’re someone who is shy, do you need to remain that way forever? Is it possible to change and grow in this area?

Being confident – or not – is a trait that many young people struggle with during their early years of life. Although confidence is not a bad concept of and by itself, it can be, especially if we have confidence in the wrong things. There are many things we can have confidence in for the short-term, however, as young Christians, you need more than short-term confidence. You need long-term confidence that, frankly, only God and His Word can provide. 

Firstly, what is confidence? According to, confidence can be defined as:

1. a feeling of trust in a person or thing

2. belief in one’s own abilities; self-assurance

So, who or what do you trust in and what personal abilities do you possess that you believe you can do?

Let’s be clear; it is healthy to think positively with a “can-do” attitude, instead of a negative mindset that constantly denies what you are capable of doing. For example, if you study properly before a school exam, you should be confident that you will do well. If you are playing a sports game, it’s helpful to believe you will do well on the sports field, especially if you’ve put in the effort to train well and learn from your coach.

Nevertheless, if we only have confidence in what we can do in certain areas of our life, we will not properly understand where ultimate security and confidence comes from; God and His laws. No matter how much preparation you put in to your schooling, there are exams that you won’t do as well in when compared to other times. No matter how well you train for your sports game, you will miss a few shots on the field on game day. 

However, God understands that we will all fall short in life and He graciously offers forgiveness and encouragement when we don’t quite get things right or when we experience failure (see 1 John 1:8-10). You see, if we put our total confidence in another person, a pursuit, or even our own abilities, we will – inevitably – fall short in succeeding in life. Jeremiah says we are “cursed” if we put our trust in men or things other than God. But makes it clear that we can be “blessed” if we put our confidence and trust in Him (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

My project-1 (31)

Today, much emphasis on confidence-building amongst young people comes from the way people look, whether they are “hot,” “pretty,” “muscular,” or, “good-looking.” If you place sole confidence in how you or others look, I’ve got some bad news for you; those looks will soon fade away and then what will you have to show for yourself after that (see Ecclesiastes 12:1-14)? We read in Scripture that, “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Indeed, God takes note of people who seek to develop their heart and become inwardly changed, rather than those who focus disproportionally on the outward (1 Peter 3:1-4).

Therefore, the best way to build confidence is to live according to God’s Word and ways, so you can have a rock-solid foundation from which to build your life. John wrote in 1 John 5:14, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” When you feel insecure and lack confidence that is the time to talk to God and ask Him to help you. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:25-26, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” God promises to give you the encouragement and help you need, if you are prepared to do your part and seek Him. 

Finally, it’s not wrong to back yourself, in order to complete some short term projects, especially if you have put in the effort to be successful. However, this positive attitude is not enough if you wish to build long-term, eternal confidence. God the Father and Jesus Christ need to be the foundation of our confidence. It is in God’s laws and instructions that we find true confidence. Although we will still have challenges and even failures in life, if God is our foundation, we can genuinely have the kind of confidence that brings peace, comfort, and ultimately, success in this life and the next. Indeed, as the apostle Paul inspiringly stated, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Let’s all learn to build the relationship with God and Jesus Christ that will not only please God, but will also build the confidence that we need to face “all things” that life’s challenges present.

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