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3 Tips to Overcome Self-Doubt

Sep 6, 2016 2:38:17 PM

How do you overcome self-doubt?

When Jesus told Peter that he was the rock on which Jesus would build his church (Matthew 16:18), Jesus did so before Peter denied Him three times. Jesus looked beyond that and still called forth the gold in Peter. So often I fall into the temptation of looking at myself with so much self doubt. I focus so much on what I'm not or can’t do that often I forget to listen to God when He reminds me who I am. Can you here the voice of love in your life, calling forth the gold in you? How do we live in that truth and grab ahold of our identity in God?

1. Look Inward: Examine Your Heart

In Proverbs 4:23 it says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Not long ago, I went through a season of doubting God, myself, and my life. I was busy, running from one project to another, one social engagement to another, one crisis to another. I didn’t take time to examine my heart because I was afraid of what that doubt meant. Who was I if this doubt became something more? Instead of taking time to process my doubt and discover the root of it in my heart; I tried to ignore it. In doing so I allowed that doubt to control me, and it bred fear and shame. There was no room in my heart for any gold to shine. Is your heart flowing with springs of life? If not, why?

2. Look Upward: Come into the Presence of the Lord

In C.S. Lewis’s “Last Battle”, one character encourages another by saying, "But courage, child: we are all between the paws of the true Aslan.” These words have often comforted me and proved true even when I’ve forgotten them. During that season of doubt, I was driving home from work on the freeway. As usual I was stressed out. All of a sudden, a car next to me began to pull into my lane without checking his blindspots. Before I knew what was happening, I came within a few millimeters of being in a serious accident, but at the last possible millisecond the car swerved back into his own lane. Maybe it was the Lord’s protection, maybe it was coincidence, but with shaky legs I praised God for keeping me safe. In that moment, I was pulled back to the Lord and back into His presence, and my doubts seemed so small now. How I wish I didn’t wait for a near car accident to bring me back to Him. Behind my doubts was deep longing for Him.

Jesus always meets us right where we are. Whether it’s a good day or terrible one, whether we’ve fallen short or not, Jesus invites us into a place where we are safe and can hear His voice. When shame and fear control us it can be so easy to stop doing the things that will help us. We run and hide from the Lord instead of intentionally spending time with Him. He is a shepherd who seeks us. If we spend time with Him, He is faithful to us—to give love, remind us of who we are in Him, to shed light on the doubts and fears, and to call forth the gold in us. Jesus is not concerned with who we are not or the things we can’t do. He sees us with His perfect perspective, as we truly are: His beloved children. He desires to give us this vision and He doesn’t take it away when we fail. This is the beauty of God. He doesn’t relate to us as angry school teacher but as a loving father, a faithful redeemer, and a steady friend. He meets us where we are at and there we can find strength to move forward and walk in that gold.

3. Look Outward: Let others encourage you so that you can encourage others.

In a painful season have you ever isolated yourself from others? I know I have. It is crucial to surround ourselves with trusted friends and spiritual mentors who can listen and empathize with our stories. Author Brené Brown says that “courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” It’s scary to open up to others, but being vulnerable with each other is one thing that helps hold us together as the body of Christ.

Community gives us that starting place to be encouraged, begin to walk in the gold, and share our gifts within that community. John the Disciple writes “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It’s a simple but powerful reminder: love is meant to be shared. We should be actively listening to the Lord in how we can encourage and love one another. From there we can look beyond the safety of our community and have the courage to take God’s love and light further and further to those who do not yet know Him.

Jesus has called us into a redeemed identity

It’s hard at times, but we can grab a hold of it! Yes, sometimes I run around in circles to and come into hard seasons where I forget these lessons. My Discipleship Training School (DTS) gave me the tools to discern my heart and again listen to the Lord. I am not a slave to my mistakes, brokenness, and sin: I am brand new creation in Christ who loves me. This gold He has given me encourages me on this unfolding journey ahead!

Interested in Jesus, adventure, and growing in your faith?

Do a Discipleship Training School, YWAM’s flagship missionary training course. It's a great gap year option. It's also perfect for anyone looking to step out of the ordinary and grow in your faith.

How does it work?

First, you’ll spend 3 months getting to know God amongst a vibrant Christian community and the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Then you’ll embark on a life-changing 2-month overseas missions trip, focused on making God known. A new DTS starts every September, January, April, and June! Submit your info below to learn more. 

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