Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”Matthew 14:31
Have you ever been in a situation where you are asked to step out of your comfort zone? During those times, do you feel that you have not been equipped with the abilities or the confidence to complete the tasks that you face? Think about a time that you were asked to take on a new job, make a presentation, start a new business, watch a friend’s child, plan an event, move, teach a class, or some other responsibility.
Did you face it with confidence? Were you excited to “step out of the boat?” Or did you second guess yourself and ask the questions;
What do I have to offer?
Who wants to listen to me?
Why would they trust me?
Why didn’t they ask her because she would do it so much better.
Or worse yet, “If they really knew me, they would never have asked me to do this! “
Self-doubt, it is a voice that can control, haunt, limit and/or paralyze you from accomplishing things that God has equipped you to do. The world holds up a measure of perfection making us doubt ourselves as parents, friends, workers, teachers, and more.
Doubt: defined as the state of being unsure of something, is an internal message that can rob us of the confidence to accomplish a goal. It is a thorn that slivers into our spirits and festers into a wound that if untreated could leave a scar for life.
Doubt may come from voice in our past telling us we would never measure up. Doubt may come from the comparisons of society that tell us we are too impatient, too disorganized, too young, too old, too heavy, too thin, too lazy to shy, too outgoing, too injured, too ______ . You fill in the blank.
If we listen to these voices of doubt over the voice of God, we allow ourselves to be filled with a constant questioning of our abilities. These voices distract us from the gifts and talents God has equipped us with and limit our own potential. Would we ever allow a child in our care to question his or her worth and abilities in the same way? Then why do we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of unworthiness and doubt?
I have to be honest with you that I experience times of doubt. Like Peter, when I am put into a situation of “stepping out of the boat,” I am not sure if I have confidence or feel equipped to accomplish the task that is before me. My friends and family will tell me that I have the abilities, but, for instance, when preparing to speak, sing, perform or even write this blog, I am very vulnerable to those voices inside that say:
- Who do you think you are?
- What makes you think you have something worthwhile to share?
- Why would others want to listen to you?
My stomach can become tied up in knots, my legs become shaky and sometimes I become so nervous, my insides feel like mush. Just as Peter doubted the ability to walk on water with Christ, right there in front of him, I am doubting my God given abilities. Yet, what happened with Peter? When he kept his eyes on Christ, he would stay on the top of the water. But when he looked away from Christ and doubted, he would begin sinking. I need to remember every day that doubt is not from God and doubt will limit what God can do through me. It is only by girding myself daily with the reassurance of God’s word, and keeping my eyes on Him that I have the confidence to accomplish the tasks I am required to do.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Do you believe that Christ has created you with gifts and equipped you with the abilities to do His will in whatever environment He has placed you? Do you feel God calling you into a new direction? Guard your mind and spirit from the voices of the world that want to distract you with doubt and fill you with lies of unworthiness. You are worthy, step out of the boat, keep your eyes on him, listen to His voice and take His hand, Jesus will not let you sink!
Lord, Forgive me when I spend my time doubting the gifts and abilities you have entrusted to me. Help me to see myself as you do and ignore the doubts the world screams into my ear. I want to hear your voice, focus on your eyes and step out of my boat. Amen