There is a point in many movies where the key to victory is revealed. Epic music underscores the importance of the dramatic moment. The hero is feeling defeated and overwhelmed. Someone close says, "You have to believe in yourself." This advice gives what is needed to make it through. Rocky Balboa, Spiderman, Harry Potter, and many more have received this brand of cinematic philosophy.
Has anyone ever told you to Believe in yourself? It's presented as a confidence builder, a self-esteem booster, and a personal motivator. Society claims that self-confidence is a virtue, and you can succeed in anything as long as you swallow the secret sauce of self-belief.
The one who trusts in himself is a fool. ...a fool is rash and overconfident.Prov 28:26, 14:16
You will find no instructions to believe in yourself in the Bible. Self-confidence goes by another name in Scripture: Pride. You'll find plenty of verses that point you away from this dangerous habit.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."Jer 17:7-8
Wow, that sounds nice. We can be fruit-bearing trees planted by a flowing stream, or we can be raging fools repeating the mantra, "I believe in myself," as we trek across a dry, blistering desert. I know which one I want. But how?
Jesus didn't tell people, "believe in yourself." Instead, he told them, "Believe in me." Here's a great example:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.John 6:47
If you have never believed in Jesus for the free gift of everlasting life, you can do that right now. If you've already believed in Jesus for salvation, hopefully, your belief didn't stop there. The apostle Paul explained that in addition to beliving in Jesus for eternal life, our daily living grows out of what we believe about Jesus as well:
...Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the body I live by faith [belief] in the Son of God...Gal 2:20
Paul didn't stop believing in Jesus after he got saved. He grew to believe in Jesus for help in his daily life too.
Success in the day-to-day Christian life is hindered by self-belief. It's only possible if we stop believing in ourselves and start believing in Jesus for deliverance from our temptations and trials.
Don't believe in yourself. Believe in Jesus for eternal life. Then start believing in Jesus for victory over your temptation. That's the kind of believing that changes everything.
I am enjoying your Society's Lies series and posted a couple of your articles in my Christian Theology and Thought Facebook group to share.