I was surprised by something I heard my ten year old son say last week. He said, "I don't want to try because if I never try that means I will never fail."
Oh, how I cringed at that statement, that mindset! Where did it come from? Where did he get that losing mentality? Not from me! Not from my husband!
He didn't have to get it from anywhere. That mindset is nothing more than a lie from the enemy. A lie we quickly displaced with truth.
This week, we read Chapter 7 and 8 in A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.
These two chapters revealed two lies doubt tries to whisper:
The two lies are:
1. I'm such a failure.
2. I don't have anything special to offer.
This week, we expose those lies with God's truth!
I used to be afraid of failure. I would run from responsibility in fear that I would fail and be exposed as a phony incapable of accomplishment.
I have failed and I still fail, often. Every time I fall short of the glory of God...I fail. However, I have learned as Renee pointed out on page 121 that "I didn't have to let my failure define me."
Who you are is not defined by what you do. Who you are is defined by what HE DID.
He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Col 1:21-22
We are free from accusation. We are free from guilt.
I love what Renee said about condemnation versus conviction on page 127.
She said that condemnation comes from the enemy and he uses generalized statements such as You are a failure. You can't do that. You never do anything right. You are so irresponsible.
Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and is very specific. He deals with us about a specific action and then reveals what is the right thing to do.
Conviction is done lovingly. Condemnation brings shame and guilt.
We learn through conviction. God will use our failures if we let Him to show us how to be more like Him.
The second lie to expose is "I don't have anything special to offer." This lie could be a cousin to the first.
God designed each and every one of us with natural gifts, talents, and abilities. Then, when we become saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, we receive spiritual gifts. God gave us these gifts to use for His glory!
If you don't know what your natural and spiritual gifts are, I want to encourage you to pray and ask God to show you. He will. Do a spiritual gift test and personality test to find out your strengths.
Praise the Lord for how you are unique and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). He gave you your personality to fulfill the specific assignment He has for you! You do have something special to offer!
For Discussion and Reflection: (pg 134, 154)
1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being "very little" and 10 being "a whole lot"), how often do you hear doubt whisper, You're such a failure? Do you ever hear accusing internal dialogue saying things like, You always do that; You keep saying your sorry, but you'll never change; or You're constantly disappointing someone?
3. Jesus knew Peter would fail Him, yet He still saw beyond who Peter was to who he could become. How does it make you feel to know that same is true in your life? Write down an area where you are feeling like a failure or are afraid you might fail and ask Jesus to help you fail forward if you have a setback.
4. Have you ever felt like you fell into Satan's traps? How will you let his accusations lead you to Jesus in the future?
3. "Just as a target is designed to narrow the aim of an arrow, God uses the desires of our hearts to narrow the focus of where He wants our lives to make a mark for eternity" (pg. 144). Do you believe God created you with unique desires and dreams? If you know what they are, list them.
4. What are some of your abilities? If that is hard to answer, list things others have said you do well.
5. How did the servant with the least amount of talents perceive his master? Have you ever felt like God didn't give you as much talent or ability as He's given to others? Have you ever buried your abilities because you didn't think you mattered? Has not using your God-given abilities impacted your sense of purpose or your relationship with God? If so, how?
I hope you are enjoying this study on having A Confident Heart. Join us back here next Thursday. We will be discussing Chapter 9: When Doubt Whispers: "I Can't Stop Worrying."