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The quickest way to be powerful is to develop healthy doses of humility and confidence. If you lean too far in one direction then life becomes unbalanced and can lead to a world of hurt and trouble. But, healthy humility and confidence result in joy.
How does joy related to power? To answer this, I first want you to consider the following four possible combinations of humility and confidence:
- Self-loathing: a false humility without much if any confidence means harmfully low self-worth. This person actively rejects the truth about who God is and who He made them to be.
- Self-deprecating: a helpful amount of humility without enough confidence leads to questionable self-worth. This person is healthy when they have a lighthearted ability to laugh at their mistakes. However, their negative self-expression can also come from a poisoned self-image.
- Self-confident: a helpful dose of humility and confidence means self-care without arrogance. This person lets God be God while also feeling good about who they are.
- Self-absorbed: too little humility with too much confidence results in an inflated sense of importance. This person becomes overcompensates for their low self-worth by focusing too much on trying to feel powerful. Increasing focus on self becomes a dead-end at self-loathing. An unhealthy preoccupation with self misses out on what God has to offer.
People become self-absorbed when they look only within themselves to heal their brokenness. In futility, people try to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. But, the power that originates anywhere except from God promises only the illusion of confidence.
For example, if self becomes everything and God is minimized, then God isn’t in His rightful position in our lives. We’re not really going to succeed – maybe we’ll succeed with financially or something – but overall for God’s kingdom and his purposes we won’t be succeeding.
Be Humble So You Can Be Powerful
The world says you must be strong and independent to be powerful. But an “I can do it all by myself” attitude fails to activate God’s power.Do you want to be full of your own power or full of God's power? You can be humble, confident, and full of God's power. Why settle for only what you can muster without God? Click To Tweet
God says to be powerful, you must be weak enough to accept His help. A healthy weakness is a vulnerable dependence. Depending upon God activates His power.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
Be Confident So You Can Be Powerful
If you focus too much on God, if that’s possible, and minimize yourself then you can develop self-loathing where you don’t feel like you’re much of anything. Self-loathing is simply another form of arrogance that blocks God out of your life.
God’s power isn’t going to shine through you then. You need to have a right view of yourself so that God’s power will rest on you and work through you.
Be Joyful So You Can Be Powerful
The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). How can you experience joy if you carry the heavy load of bitterness toward your own spirit?
Passively waiting for God to make you powerful doesn’t work. To be full of power, you must actively allow God to fill you, which also means keeping yourself empty of substitute fillings. Being filled with the Spirit means having great joy in God.
So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will. And don’t get drunk with wine, which is rebellion; instead be filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.Ephesians 5:15-18 TPT
How Can We Be Powerful And Not Self-absorbed? How Can We Be Confident While Also Humble?
If we want to be powerful, we must be joyful. If we want to be joyful, we can’t live rebelliously independent from God. We must stop living with the habits of self-deprecation and self-absorption. The antidote for poisoning shame is to look to God for help.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.Psalm 34:5 NLT
So we should go for everything. We should do all that we can – shoot from the moon so to speak – but also keep that in check by accepting whatever God provides or doesn’t provide in our lives.
He may have a different plan than the one on our minds, and it may take some time to figure out what that is, but it doesn’t mean we should just be sidelined and sitting back and waiting for something to happen either.
We should take the truths in the Bible that God has given us and run with them as best as we can. But ultimately it is up to God to author our success.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.