Many a young person today shows signs of low self-confidence. A particular person may spring to mind right now. Sometimes, even, that person is us.
Confidence is anchored in self-worth and the feelings around being accepted. Low self-confidence is a correlation to one’s belief or feeling of low self-worth. That inner belief one may have of low self-worth can stem from a range of things, including body imperfections, childhood challenges, peer pressures, and identity confusion, which all may greatly affect the lives of young people. If you are a youth leader, a parent, or a fellow young person who aims to help boost the self-confidence of an individual or a group, here are some God-inspired lessons from Union Church of Manila’s Christian youth ministry about confidence and self-worth.
A young person’s life can be utterly filled with odd but real choices about a range of preferences including clothing, hairstyle, behavior, just to name a few. The Scriptures, however, teach us to see beyond such things– to welcome and accept one another: “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15: 7 says). Christ accepted and welcomed all, young and old, regardless of these kinds of choices.
Accept young people for who they are now, rather than for the people you want them to become. As we are faithful to love and support our young people, it will be God that changes their hearts and souls for the good that He wants for them.
A young person with low self-confidence needs to be made to feel, before anything else, that they are welcomed and accepted for who they are. And it will be important to cultivate relationships with young people to bring about that acceptance.
Find ways for them to belong
At times, it’s not easy to learn how to boost a young person’s confidence, as many youth these days can be determined to stay immersed in their own worlds.
Make some observations and take the time to know what makes a particular young person “tick.” For example, there are many young people with low self-confidence but just below the surface are their various talents in, say, the arts– may it be singing, dancing, or painting. Their talents or gifts are wellsprings from which life may burst forth! Show interest in their areas of interest and then cultivate their trust in the relationship over time. Just watch. Once a young person feels they belong with you or your group, when they feel they can be themselves, you have made much progress towards an increased self-confidence. And belonging, often leads to believing.
Help young people realize that Christ is the source of self-worth
To help our young people grow in self-confidence, we need to help them to realize that being in a state of mixed confidence is not wrong. But, they can be encouraged by others and grow in this area. Self-confidence and self-worth is not generated from within. Human beings have dignity, value, and worth because God has made it so. We were worthy enough for God to give of himself in Christ on the cross. We are worthy because, in Christ, God went to great lengths to demonstrate that truth and reality to us. Here are three short and sharp lessons for a young person regarding the source of any person’s self-worth and therefore confidence:
1. You were created by God
It is an awesome truth that we were created by God! Jeremiah 1: 5 contains a wonderful passage. The text says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” The verse communicates that we were God’s idea before our parents and that He knew us then, which implies he still knows us now. Our identity – who we are – and our self-worth are given by God and by God alone.
2. God is your only judge
It is true that others’ judgment can and will be hurtful. But realize that God’s judgment is the only kind that truly and ultimately matters. The verse 1 Corinthians 4:4 says, “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.” You WILL face judgment by most everyone in your life– peers, teachers, parents, bosses, significant others, and on and on. The challenge is, every single one you know long enough will exercise a judgment upon you. Everyone will do so because every person is a fallible human being capable of unfair and unloving judgments. It’s part of life. God, however, is and will be perfect in his fairness and love. And in time, God will bring perfect justice to all.
3. God loves you as you
God’s love never wavers! And God is no respecter of appearances. God looks at the heart and cares for whom you truly are (1 Samuel 16:7). There is a love for you that does not require any prior condition to be met. You are loved because you are you. The more you let it the more this love of God will change your life (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
There are constant opportunities to help a young person gradually build up self-confidence. But you will need the patience, perseverance, and guidance that come from the Lord. Pray to ask for such. And be encouraged that when you do act, you will be participating at a meaningful point in the life of a young person, which just may change him or her forever.
Union Church of Manila has an active and compassionate youth ministry that aims to aid young people to know their worth in God’s eyes. Find out the details about our worship services and the youth ministry in Makati. Visit www.unionchurch.ph/ministries/youth or email firstname.lastname@example.org.