Don’t let self-doubt stop you

In our Lenten studies at church, I led a group of about 30 people in a study designed to help them discover their purpose.

In our last lesson, we talked about how doubt can often block us from moving forward. I shared about how writers often live in a tension between believing we’ve written works of sheer genius and believing we’ve written crap and have no business trying to write.

© freshidea - Fotolia.com

© freshidea – Fotolia.com

In Exodus 3:11, Moses says to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

He had massive doubts about his own abilities. But he had a unique life experience that made him the ideal liaison between the Israelites and the Egyptians.

God accepted no excuses from Moses, and he won’t accept excuses about our perceived inadequacy, either.

It is very human for us to question ourselves, and caution keeps us out of trouble…usually. But when we doubt ourselves is the time we most need to go to God for guidance. We need discernment to see when doubt comes from a real concern…this ending is too contrived; I need to fix it…and when it comes from false condemnation…I suck.

It is misguided modesty to say “I’m nothing special” or “Who am I?” Are we not all special because we have been made by a loving God in his own image?

I asked my class, “If your child said to you, ‘I’m nothing special…I’m no genius, who am I…’ how would you respond?”

One mom, who is also a preschool teacher, said it succinctly. “I’d cry.”

So how do you think God responds when you doubt the very gifts and abilities he’s given you?

In his book On-Purpose Peace, Kevin McCarthy writes: “We’re quick to pick up our cross, but reluctant to pick up our gift, because we feel unworthy, unwanted, unnoticed, or uncalled. That’s our ignorance, not His reality.”

If you believe that you are not uniquely gifted to serve the body of Christ, that is a lie from the father of lies, and you need to put it behind you and seek the wisdom of the Spirit to reveal the truth to you. God is sending you with a purpose just as he sent Moses. You have a unique set of gifts and life experiences that will equip you for the purpose to which you are called.


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

7 comments on “Don’t let self-doubt stop you

  1. Hi Kristen! Fascinating how the Lord works…your words are just what I needed to start my day right. Thank you.

  2. Sometimes we get to thinking so because of this sort of feedback:


    The balance in fact is struck here (or would be if it actually made the snowflakes look different as they do in nature):



    (Romans 12:3 RSV) For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
    (Romans 12:4 RSV) For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
    (Romans 12:5 RSV) so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
    (Romans 12:6 RSV) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
    (Romans 12:7 RSV) if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
    (Romans 12:8 RSV) he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

  3. Reblogged this on Tales of the Undying Singer and commented:
    “You are unique… just like everybody else.” 🙂 That and Romans 12:3-8 strike the balance on this topic. 😀 You may be one snowflake in a blizzard, but you’re like no other snowflake. If you’re going to be a flake, be the best flake you can be. 😀 LOL

  4. I very much needed this reminder today. Thank you!

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