Skip to content ↓

How To Grow in Self-Confidence

I am not, by nature, a person who has a lot of self-confidence. Quite the opposite, really. I care far too much about what other people think about me and concern myself far too much with looking good in their eyes. I can torment myself with shame and regret for little foibles and miscues, imagining what people are thinking, what they are saying to one another. For that reason I have spent much of my life trying to be unnoticed.

As a child I put great effort into trying to determine the seat in the classroom that was least conspicuous and would require the least eye-contact with the teacher. I did all I could to get out of situations that would put me before other students. I avoided plays and presentations and anything else that would make people notice me. It probably all bordered on a kind of neurosis. And it continued unabated into my teens and twenties.

That was then. Today I can usually stand in front of a group of people and do so with a pretty significant degree of confidence. I can stand in front of thousands of people (which is actually quite easy) or before a tiny group of people (which is far tougher) to speak, preach, or answer questions.

What made the difference? How did I gain that kind of confidence? I’m sure age and maturity helped, but there was one difference-maker that rises above all the rest: I determined that when I spoke I would do so with God’s authority, not mine. I decided I wouldn’t stand up in front of people and share my own opinions or bestow my own wisdom. Rather, I would ground what I say in the Bible. Lacking in confidence as I am, I would take my confidence from God. This is why I almost invariably ground not just sermons but also mere speeches or conference talks in a text of Scripture. This gives me the confidence that what I say is not my own, but God’s. It allows me to gain confidence that I’m standing on the most solid of ground, that I am communicating a message consistent with the Word of God and empowered by the Spirit of God.

Here is how I encourage others who are equally lacking in self-confidence: Grow in your knowledge of God’s Word. And having grown in your knowledge of that Word, grow in your ability to communicate it. Then, when given an opportunity to stand before people, ground your message in the timeless, unchanging truth of God’s Word. Make God’s wisdom your wisdom, shape your words by his words, let his confidence be your confidence. When you feel those waves of self-doubt rising, remind yourself that even though you’ve got nothing to say and no wisdom to offer, God most certainly does.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by author and Bible teacher Craig Allen Cooper. This giveaway also…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 24)

    A La Carte: To sit in the threat of loss / The world cannot be gender blind / The missing years / Too much times / Finding freedom in God’s providence / The weighted vest of pastoral ministry / A micro course for pastors / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 23)

    A La Carte: How a wife entrusts her husband to God / Everyone has their own facts now / A better way to look at missions / The secret of contentment / Hospitality—a command for our joy / Are you barely hanging on? / and more.

  • Redeeming Sex in Marriage

    Redeeming Sex in Marriage

    Surely few things in this world are more mysterious than sex. Surely few things give such clear evidence that there must be more to them than the sum of their parts. On the one level, sex is a simple biological function that exists to populate the earth with human beings. On the other level, it…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 22)

    A La Carte: What should we think about paedocommunion? / Ten questions for readers of erotica / You are an influencer / Do you believe your pasture’s green? / Adam poisoned me / Kindle and Logos deals / and more.