We hear much these days about self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence. Much of this talk promotes idolatry of the self: ‘believe in yourself’, proclaim the self-help gurus.
As Christians, we have a vastly richer, stronger, and enduring basis for our confidence, although it is one that goes largely unnoticed and untapped.
Our confidence is in Christ, and it is based on our union with him.
Gospel proclamation itself requires confidence: confidence that we have something to say and confidence to say it. And the same is true of every area of the Christian life: we need to know and feel that we can do what God requires us to do. Yet many of us are defeated before we even start, because we have an unbiblically low self-esteem. But this is not a matter of egotism, but rather of taking God at his word.
The fundamental fact about a Christian is that s/he is in union with Christ. I am in him, and he is in me. And since Christ is the risen Lord, I am united with him in the power his resurrection (Phil 3:10).
- We are the body; he is the head – it is a living union
- We are the bride; he is the groom – it is a loving union
- We are the building; he is the foundation – it is a lasting union
As Paul says: ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me’ (Gal 2:20). And again: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil 4:13; cf. v19).
Our Lord says to us that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Mt 5:13f). And we, in false humility, reply, “Who? Me, Lord? You mean US?” Yes, he does mean us! We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. There is nothing that God demands of us that the Christ in us cannot do. ‘We are more than conquerors through him who loves us’ (Rom 8:37).
Based on MacLeod, A Faith To Live By.