For those who find themselves constantly in self-doubt, take a close look at the Bible. You find that often the ones that God uses the most are the people who have faced and overcome self-doubt — people like Moses, Jeremiah, and Sarah. They faced it and they found a way in God to overcome it. If you think, “I don’t have enough confidence to be used by God in a great way,” that’s not true. Some of those used in the greatest ways were those who faced a crisis of confidence, came through it, and found God to be the one who was their source.
What truths do I need to say to myself when I face self-doubt?
1. I AM INFLUENTIAL. So how do I act, based on that truth? Paul said this to Timothy; since you’re influential decide to BE AN EXAMPLE.
1 Timothy 4:12 “Do not let anyone treat you as if you are unimportant because you are young. Instead, be an example to the believers with your words, your actions, your love, your faith, and your pure life.” Don’t let anyone look down on you because… There’s always a “because” isn’t there? Some reasons that I think God can’t use me. For Timothy, it was “because you are young”. For Moses, it was “because I can’t talk”. For Jeremiah, it was “because they won’t listen”. I’ll go and talk to them, but I’m too young and they won’t listen to me. For Sarah, it was “because I’m too old”. How can God use me?
Do you know the main person I’ve found in my life who looks down on me “because”? Me! Other people do it too but we struggle the most with ourselves. We tell ourselves how God can’t use us “because”. But He can. The truth is that you are an important influential person.
If you want to be an example to others in the way you trust in God – remember people are watching you much more in a season of self-doubt than in a season of self-confidence. If people see you trust in God while you’re facing doubts in your life that speaks volumes.
2. I AM INADEQUATE. This is not any news! I’m not trying to build false confidence. Genuine confidence has to be built on genuine truth. The truth is I am inadequate for a lot of life’s needs. I can’t meet all of my own needs much less all the needs of others. Because I’m inadequate how do I respond? DEPEND ON GOD.
2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” Learning this is one of the things that made Paul such an effective adequate Christian.
One of the main reasons God allows a season of self-doubt to come into my life and your life is to remind us of the fact that we have to depend on Him. He is the one we find our confidence in.
3. I AM INVALUABLE. Because I’m invaluable, the choice I need to make during a season of self-doubt – or any season of life — is to use my gifts. Use the gifts that God has given to you. You and I are invaluable because we are one of a kind. There is no one else like us. There is no one with the exact combination of gifts and personality and experience. So we are invaluable.
Paul had some advice to give Timothy about this. Two things he said to him about gifts. 2 Timothy 1:6 “I remind you to keep using the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. And now let it grow as a small flame grows into a fire.” 1 Timothy 4:14 “Do not neglect your gift.” Keep using it. Don’t neglect it.
4. I AM INCOMPLETE. Remember when you’re facing a season of self-doubt, be honest and say to yourself, I AM INCOMPLETE. The decision I’m going to make based on that is, I WILL CONTINUE TO GROW.
Sometimes I feel self-doubt because I’m not perfect yet. I’m incomplete. You and I are all unfinished masterpieces. We’re masterpieces…. but we’re unfinished. So we decide to grow.
We don’t just want to get through a season; we want to grow through these seasons that God brings into our lives.
2 Peter 3:18 “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” That’s God’s desire for all of us. Self-doubt can either drive us to depression or it can challenge us to grow.
I’m going to decide to grow. But what’s the secret? Where does it start? Paul wrote to Timothy about that. 1 Tim. 4:15 “Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes!” I’ve got to do some work to grow in my life. God’s the one who’s working on me, but He expects some effort. It’s going to take some effort to grow, and some discipline. Things like prayer and reading the Scriptures. Have you discovered that the things that help you the most, you don’t want to do them? So I’ve got to cultivate these things.
Then he says, “Everyone will see your growth.” I think most of us don’t want other people to see us grow. We want other people to see us fully grown, but we don’t want people to see us grow.
If we’re going to grow, we’ve got to grow together. And we have to let other people help us grow as well as see us grow.
That’s what living in a community is all about. It’s a place where we can grow together. When that begins to happen I begin to allow God to take me through this season of self-doubt, the result is Ephesians 3:20 “With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything that we can ask or imagine.” Anything!