Should a Christian believe in themselves?  

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By BibleAsk Team


Believe in Oneself

Modern culture emphasizes that when a person believes in themselves, he will be able to achieve his goals, manifest his dreams, and increase his well-being. While there is certainly a need for having a healthy degree of self-confidence, when the concept of believing in oneself becomes the primary basis of actions in life, this can be detrimental to one’s success as it shifts the focus in life from God to self.  

What Does the Bible Teach?  

People can’t believe in themselves because people are born in sin (Job 15:14; Psalms 51:5; Romans 7:14–20) and “there is none righteous, no, not one;” (Romans 3:10). In fact, “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Luke 18:19). The universal lack of understanding is due to the darkening and perversion of the mind because of sin (Romans 1:31). The things of God have become foolishness to the unconverted man (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:18).   

Consequently, because of man’s fallen condition, he can’t believe in himself for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This is why man often chooses the barren “heath” (verse 6) in the desert of sin rather than to be a fruitful “tree planted by the waters” (verse 8) of redemptive life.

Who should one trust?

Because man is sinful by nature, unwise, weak and very limited, he should put all of his faith in God who is Omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), Omnipresent (Jeremiah 23:24), and Omniscient (1 John 3:20). Man must believe in the perfect God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 6:29; 14:1). Full trust in God is the only logical position for Christians to take simply because God possess all knowledge and all power, sees the beginning from the end, and prepares against all the sudden problems that come upon a person. So, for any person to rely on his own understanding under such circumstances is considered foolishness (Proverbs 28:26; Psalm 108:12).

To put little trust in one’s own understanding does not imply that one should set aside intelligence and give up the power of choice. Intelligence is needed to decide from the Word of God and from His Providences what is His will. A will empowered by God is needed if one is to follow the right path. God Himself will straiten the life of the believer when the latter acknowledges Him in every step of his life.  

Solomon points out the danger of self-trust. Many have started to walk the path of right with complete trust in the Savior but have later taken the credit to themselves for their accomplishments and have lost their way. Such was the experience of Solomon himself, but he was fortunate to repent before it was too late (1 Kings 11:1–13).  

For the believers, the heavenly Father promises, “he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered” (Proverbs 28:25) and will be “safe” (Proverbs 29:25) and will be “set on high,” and hence protected from the enemy (Proverbs 18:10; Matthew 10:28; Mark 8:38). The Bible teaches, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20).  

No man is truly established till he is established in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Faith in God gives the believer power (Colossians 2:12), wisdom (James 1:5) and victory (Philippians 4:13). And all these factors contribute to success in life.

Only then, can man truly prosper and be happy.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7,8).
  

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