Struggling with low self-esteem, people pleasing, & insecurity? Here is how to use God’s Word to grow your confidence in Christ alone.
What Is Confidence In Christ?
Confidence in Christ can be a difficult thing to wrap your mind around because, in our world, confidence is always rooted in you – your goodness, your abilities, your personality, your words, your successes, and your actions.
But confidence in Christ is rooted in God alone.
You can be confident because of what He has done, not what you’ve done yourself.
So, before we look at building your confidence in Christ, let’s take a look at some possible warning signs that may show that you’ve been trying to build your confidence in yourself and your own abilities (which, by the way, I’ve been guilty of doing for most of my life and still catch myself doing, even after years of practice).
Signs you are trying to root your confidence in yourself
- You’re constantly beating yourself up over your mistakes. I’m a big believer that God uses guilt/conviction to lovingly correct our behavior, but if you find yourself racked by shame – hiding your mistakes, “joking” about how terrible you are, constantly being critical of yourself – that’s a sign the enemy is at work (not sure what the difference is? check out this post on guilt vs shame here).
- You refuse to believe or accept compliments. Christians are notorious for misunderstanding and misusing humility (learn about the real definition of humility here), trying to make ourselves small in order to build others up. If you can’t see any good in yourself, you are probably expecting yourself to earn your worth.
- You feel like you hate yourself. This sounds extreme, but the words I’ve heard women use to talk about themselves are so harsh – fat, a slob, lazy, worthless, destined to fail, a screw-up. You say (and believe things) that you’d never think about someone else.
- You’re a people-pleaser. You feel like you need to be compliant, go with the flow, and make decisions to make others happy, even when you don’t think it’s the best idea. (Recovering people-pleaser here! 🙋🏼♀️)
- You constantly compare yourself to others. If you are always finding yourself measuring your worth against everyone around you, it’s a sign you will only find yourself “good enough” based on the other people in your life and their “goodness” or “badness.” You are measuring your worth on what you can or can’t do.
- You fight against the truth. It’s difficult to be completely honest with yourself about both your strengths and your shortcomings, but being able to acknowledge the truth and know that it won’t break you is a very big deal (and only comes when our confidence isn’t dependent on ourselves!).
- Your happiness/worth depends on others. Do others’ moods dictate your happiness? Does your husband “need” to do certain things for you to have a good day or your kids “need” to act a certain way for you to feel like you’re a good enough mother?
- You feel like a victim of your life. If you feel like life happens “to you” more often than not, it could be a sign that you feel like you are incapable of stepping up to change your thoughts, feelings, or circumstances (you can read more on a growth vs a fixed mindset and how it affects your confidence here).
Why you should NOT listen to the world’s advice on growing your self-confidence
If you’ve looked into growing your self-confidence in secular ways, you’ve probably already run across advice on how to love yourself just the way you are (I have a post on what the Bible has to say about the “self love” movement here).
And some of the advice is really good! But so much of the advice gets into dangerous territory for Christians because the thing about a Christian’s confidence is that it should never come from yourself – it should come from Christ.
And, when you think about it, that’s really really good news because it means that you can have unwavering confidence every single day, no matter how many times you’ve sinner, no matter how many flaws your body has, no matter how many struggles you’ve lost or weaknesses you have, no matter how many times you’ve tried and failed.
Your confidence can be unflappable because it is rooted in Christ’s perfection, not your ability to live up to your expectations.
Your confidence in Christ comes from knowing that:
- God is perfect. He did not make a mistake when he made you.
- His Word is true. When the Bible declares things about peoples’ identity in Christ, you aren’t an exception. Those Truths apply to you, too!
- He created you in His image for a unique purpose. (you can read more about your identity in Christ here) You, yes, even you, are an image-bearer of Christ and that
- His power shines through your weaknesses, so you don’t have to be overcome by shame and embarrassment of your flaws, struggles, and imperfections.
How To Grow Your Confidence In Christ
Before I dive into the basics of how to grow your confidence in Christ, I highly encourage you to sign up for my 5 Days to Jump Start Your Confidence in Christ. It will walk you through a more in-depth 5-day series of devotions all about growing your confidence in Jesus alone, not on your own strength.
1. Know that the Bible is True (& actually believe it!)
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a Christian home, going to Sunday school for as long as I can remember. I can sing all the songs, give you the “church” answers to just about any question, and recite a lot of Scripture.
But knowing the Bible is true and actually believing it to be true for you are two very different things.
The Bible does not shy away from talking about our identity in Christ – you are the light of the world, you are chosen, you are delighted in. And, if you’re like me, it’s probably easy for you to believe those things are true of everyone else.
But, somehow, shame tricked me into believing that I was the exception to the rule.
You, my friend, are not the exception to the Word of God. You were not a mistake. You are not too far gone.
You are loved, you are chosen, you are redeemed, and Christ’s work in you, regardless of your mistakes, flaws, weaknesses, and sins, is enough for you to hold your head high with confidence.
And this is a great time to double-check – what are you putting your hope in?
As Christians, we know our hope should be rooted in Christ alone, but it’s so very easy to slowly let our expectations shift to thinking our hope should be in ourselves – being good enough, doing enough, thinking we should be able to fix our circumstances ourselves.
When our hope is in ourselves, it’s so easy to lose confidence, feel like a failure, and like we will just never measure up.
The more you believe Scripture and root your hope in God’s strength and not your own, the more you will see your confidence grow.
Some practical tips to do this:
- Read your Bible regularly to ground yourself in God’s Truth.
- When you recognize your thoughts aren’t lining up with Scripture, take your thoughts captive.
- Try prayer journaling to help you apply Scripture specifically to you.
- Go through these Bible verses on identity in Christ one by one and use your name to say, “I, Becky, am chosen…” for each one.
- Try going through a Bible study on growing in confidence or identity with a few friends or women from church. (Jen Wilkin has a great study called In His Image.)
2. Embrace your weaknesses
This is a tricky one because, like I’ve already mentioned above, if you are reading this post, the likelihood is, you are very very aware of your own flaws (and you probably spend a lot of time beating yourself up over them). That’s not what I’m talking about here.
The Truth that is important to hold here is to know that you were designed to need God. (John 15:5)
If you know you were designed to be imperfect and you can embrace the fact that you were created to need a Savior, then you can rest in knowing that you don’t have to beat yourself up for falling short – you were designed to rely on God!
The Bible never instructs you to get mad at yourself for your weaknesses and mistakes.
Instead, it reminds you to embrace your weaknesses.
It’s through your weaknesses that God’s strength shines (2 Corinthians 12:9).
And that just makes sense, doesn’t it? That the less we worry about proving to the world that we can do it all ourselves and the more we can choose to embrace our shortcomings and show the goodness of God in our imperfections, the more they will see their own need for Him.
The more you practice embracing your weaknesses, the more your confidence in Christ will grow, knowing that your confidence doesn’t depend on your strength but on His. Remember, embracing your weaknesses does not mean to beat yourself up.
Your shortcomings are about your actions, not your identity – don’t confuse the two!
You can acknowledge them (“I really messed up by losing my temper and yelling at you earlier”) without attacking your identity (“I’m such a screwup/failure and I’ll never get this right”).
Your identity in Christ doesn’t change, no matter how many times you fail or get it wrong. Make sure to clearly separate those two things in your thoughts!
Embracing your weakness also doesn’t mean you boast about them. It’s just about acknowledging the truth. Don’t minimize your sin – call a spade a spade! Call out sin for what it is.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the more you can embrace your weaknesses, the more you will grow your faith, knowing that your confidence is in Christ alone.
Some practical tips to do this:
- Practice owning your weaknesses in ways that acknowledge them without attacking your identity (journaling is a great place to start with this but moving onto having conversations with trusted loved ones about this is a great step forward, as well).
- When you do mess up or fall short, start recognizing whether you are feeling guilt or shame.
- Journal about this prompt – Do I really believe that God’s power shines through my weakness? How can I better embrace that Truth? How has beating myself up for my misakes affected my faith and identity? What response would draw me nearer to Christ?
3. Accept the free gift of God’s grace
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
God’s grace was another thing I was really good at knowing about without letting myself actually experience it.
As someone with low self-confidence, I had all kinds of thoughts preventing me from experiencing the fullness of God’s grace.
- I didn’t feel worthy of His forgiveness.
- It felt like I was taking advantage of God because, as hard as I tried, I just kept messing up.
- I felt like I should be able to do it on my own.
And all of those thoughts were cheapening my faith, holding me back from actually experiencing the faith I hold to be true.
Again, make sure your thoughts align with Scripture. Christ died on the cross for you. By grace you have been saved. You didn’t deserve it. You did nothing to earn it. It is a gift offered to you that can and will change your life…if you accept it.
If you’ll notice, the steps I’m laying out build on each other, so don’t skip one! If you skip the last step of embracing your weakness, then this one won’t be nearly as powerful.
It’s only when we recognize the fullness of our need for God (through our weaknesses, struggles, and shortcomings) that we can experience the fullness of God’s grace.
Some practical tips to do this:
- Journal or pray – confess your sins, ask for God’s forgiveness, then accept it, allowing your scarlet sins to become white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
- Recognize any thoughts you have preventing you from experiencing God’s grace.
- Journal about this prompt – What am I afraid of happening if I allow myself to fully accept grace? How would my faith/life/relationships change if I allowed myself to experience God’s grace? How would it impact the people around me if I let myself experience the freedom that comes with His grace?
5 Bible Verses About Growing Your Confidence In Christ
I have a post with 19 Bible verses on confidence in Christ here, but the Scriptures below are specifically ones I’ve used for growing in my confidence in Christ.
1. Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
This verse shows you a clear connection, almost like giving you a formula, for growing your confidence – If you hope in the Lord, your strength will be renewed.
First, root your hope in Him – not in yourself, not in your goodness, not in your words or actions, not in your successes or failures. If your hope is in Christ alone, your entire experience of your life (and yourself) will change.
2. Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
I think we often try to fix our confidence problems by fixing ourselves. If we can just muster up more willpower/self-control, if we can just do better or be better, if we can just make the changes we want to make to ourselves, then our confidence will have to grow, right?
That way of thinking just doesn’t align with Scripture.
This verse tells you exactly what you need to grow in confidence – faith.
Focus on ways to grow your faith more than ways to better yourself (spoiler alert – growing your faith always results in bettering yourself).
3. 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
This has always been one of the hardest Bible verses for me to wrap my mind around. How on earth can I boast in my weaknesses? Aren’t I supposed to feel ashamed and embarrassed of my weaknesses and then work as hard and fast as I can to get rid of them?
The biblical answer is no. No, you aren’t.
You are supposed to be able to look at the fullness of your weaknesses so that you can more fully experience gratitude for the gift of God’s grace that you did absolutely nothing to earn.
4. Hebrews 13:6
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
This verse has been so helpful in helping me remember that my immediate response to my weaknesses, my shortcomings, and my struggles shouldn’t be shame, despair, or hopelessness.
When I can’t do it, my confidence grows when I can boldly claim, “I can’t but God can.”
5. 1 John 4:17
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
1 John 4:17
If you’ve struggled with insecurities and have low self-esteem, it’s very likely you think far more about your flaws – what’s wrong with you – than about the fact that you are an image-bearer of Jesus. In this world, God created you on purpose to leave a mark of His love on this world in a way that only you can.
Dwell on the work He is doing in your life. Think about the parts of you that reflect Jesus. The more you abide in Him, the more He is growing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in you and using you to change the world for the better.
5 Free Devotions On Growing Your Confidence In Christ
If you’d like even more step-by-step guidance on how to grow your confidence in Christ, make sure you sign up for my 5 Days to Jump Start Your Confidence in Christ to get daily devotions emailed to you over the next 5 days with even more support to help you experience more peace, joy, and freedom as you grow your confidence in Christ.