7th August, 2017
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me….(Phil 4:13)
I have declared these words over my life a tad lot of times but it didn’t quite occur to me then, all that they entailed. I mean like, the deeper meaning. When we were little, my brother and I loved to play in the swings. We were confident that Mum and Dad would take us to “thwing” as my brother would put it..lol! (He couldn’t pronounce the “s” or “v” sound..in fact, he massacred Johnny’s name by ALWAYS calling him Johnny Bratho! *insert teary LOL emoji*) We knew we would go to the thwings every weekend because Mum and Dad would take us, but, I wonder what would happen if they said they were too tired to go and we had to take ourselves. I’d play my angry-toddler-silent-treatment-lock-yourself-in-the-room game while my brother dragged himself on my mother’s left foot wailing like the thwings were gonna vanish if we didn’t use them that weekend.
And then we grew up, and we learnt that there is so much that we can actually do without having to bring ,Mum and Dad into the picture – who by the way, just marked 25 years in marriage and we really thank God! We no longer fear that a stranger will take us away (weelll…), or being alone in a place, doing something we need to do. Our confidence stopped leaning wholly on our folks and it was gradually shared out into us too, bit by bit. Mum and Dad always support us, but when we don’t believe in ourselves in the first place, there is only so much they can do.
When Paul says, “I can do all things,” that is self-confidence. Then he says, “through Christ who strengthens me,” that is Godfidence. He acknowledges his relationship with the Lord as His secret edge. It strengthens Him. God is our all in all. Like I shared recently, He alone holds all things together (Col 1:17) and so He can pull it all off on His own. On this earth, we are His hands and feet but unfortunately, a quite a majority barely believe in themselves to begin with.
Self-confidence and Godfidence are very vital. They work so well together and it is of importance to have them both in adequate proportions. A balanced person knows this.
Self-confidence is all about your perception of yourself. How do you view yourself? See, you could have one person heavily endowed with the singing gift but they don’t believe in it and another who ain’t “as good” but they believe greatly in what they have that they shine in top charts and massive gigs. The funny thing is, you really become what you think you are. It’s not about how good you are if you can barely believe in what you are.
It doesn’t matter whether you are incompetent or not; bottom-line, if you think that you are a failure, you will be one. I realize that self-perceptions have a lot to do with what has been taught, said or done to us. Our parents, our teachers, people we look up to are a mirror reflecting an image of ourselves back at us. Compliments, praise and encouragement go a long way in helping is develop a positive self-image as compared to the negative criticism and negative words probably hurled at us.
I’ve shared one too many times that when I was little, my then closest friend belittled me quite a lot through the stuff she said and did to me. It hurt, and it affected the way I did things for quite a long time. I believed that I had to work harder than others to do as well as they did. I feared going for opportunities because the possibility of messing it up scared me big time. I didn’t see why and dude would come my way, yes. And instead of putting my focus into doing well at what I did, I put more focus in convincing myself that I could do it in the first place. Then I realized that life had to move on and God had something on the inside of me that my lack of confidence hindered.
- Connect with the One who made you. Let Him strengthen you. He calms nerves and His might powerfully sieves through our weaknesses. Surrender.
- Love yourself by understanding who you are; strengths and weaknesses alike. Sometimes we expose ourselves to the vulnerability of criticism and discouragement because we are playing in the wrong field. Play in your field.
- You can’t stop words from being said, but you can control how they affect you. Develop thick skin and be optimistic. See the good in others and recognize that some peole hurt others because they are hurting, so pray for them. Let off positive vibes and they will given back to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!
- Leave room for positive criticism. Allow a few people you trust to let you know when you miss it in one way or another. When you barely believe in yourself, even positive criticism will sunken your heart.
- Talk yourself into it. Tell yourself wonderful things about you. Speak prosperity into your ideas and activities.
- Learn from people who have gone before you and are doing well. Be inspired by their stories and learn from their mistakes so that you do not repeat them.
‘Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..’
I learnt something wonderful from T.D Jakes, “The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord” where he shared that God uses not just the power within us but “the power that worketh within us”. Sometimes, this power lies dormant and untapped because we do not recognize our own resources. It is very essential that we function in our optimum capacity by rising above every single thing that has dared to crush us. Whatever you do, do not allow anyone or anything to rob you of your faith in yourself.
That said, we must also have faith in God. It is only through God that you find you. It is only through Him that your greatness comes in the open. There are very many people walking out there who are fully confident in themselves and by all means strong-willed , until they run into a challenge for which they are poorly equipped. There are some things in this life that are beyond the scope of human might or force. There are some obstacles that will confront you and you will require more than a positive attitude and classy suit. These challenges require an unshakeable, unchangeable and resolute faith in God.
You and God together are a force too mighty to be defeated. Paul knew that. You and God are a tag team that wins the fight and takes home the trophy.
Allow God to strengthen you as you enjoy your life and the many challenges that it may bring. But remember that you are wonderful and powerful. The Greater one lives in you, He is your strength and you can do all things!