The Truth About Godly Confidence

Today, August 1st, “The Truth About Godly Confidence,” will be free for Kindle on amazon.com. With that in mind, I thought today would be a good day to write about my first book, its origin story, and the general response to it so far. For your free copy, click here.

the truth about godly confidence kristin spencer

Quotes from readers:

“This book is going to help many women and perhaps men too in their walk with God.”

“She handles the topic so carefully and beautifully.”

I took two months off of blogging this year. I am constantly working on various writing projects, and one in particular had been under the working title, “The Gift of Godly Confidence.” The book was supposed to follow the first book in my youth fiction series about a girl named Olive. In fact, one of the most important scenes in the first Olive book will be based on a real life vision that God gave me about flowers.

Then, as my husband and I were planning for a 10-day team to come out last May, one of my friends from the Mommy fellowship I attend of asked if I would be willing to have the team help with a one day seminar. They would watch the kids while I would teach two sessions for some of the women that couldn’t afford to go to the Evangelical Women’s conference. Right away, I knew what I wanted to teach about. Godly confidence had been a recurring theme in my personal journey with God, and I knew that I should share about what He had shown me. God put it on my heart to collect everything I had written about this topic in preparation for the Olive books. I thought it would be great to have a booklet to go along with the teaching, as a gift for the women attending. Now that I look back, I find it humorous that what started as a booklet, turned into a full fledged book. God always has new ways of making me laugh.

In all of the feedback I have received about this book, there are two persistent comments. First, I hear the word honesty over and over again. Some people have said that in this book I am “painfully honest.” I think that is a fair description. My husband and I believe that transparency is one of the most important tools we have in ministry to others. The book follows that train of thought. I share about various experiences in my life including various deceptions, hurts, and the freedom that I finally found in godly confidence. The second thing I hear is that this book often produces tears. It seems to be touching people’s hearts in a particular way. On the back of the book, the heading for the description reads, “Have you ever felt worthless?” Well, people that have felt worthless are often in a great deal of pain, and the healing usually comes through much prayer, the learning of important biblical truths, and much weeping.

The Truth About Godly Confidence

Through the process of writing this book, I felt that God was leading me to dispel certain lies that Christians accept about self-esteem and confidence. Halfway through, I felt that God wanted me to change the name of the book to, “The Truth About Godly Confidence.” In my research on this topic I found many books, sermons, and articles that teach lies about confidence as if they were biblical truths. The point of this book is teach the truth, and set free those hearts which are enslaved by feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. God loves you, and He wants you to know the truth about His feelings for you. He also wants to warn you against the dangers of pride, which ensnare so many of us unknowingly.

This book is unfortunately serious, but for such a serious topic, it didn’t seem right to include any humorous anecdotes. I hope that doesn’t take away from it as a work, but there you have it, my major regret as far as this effort is concerned. That doesn’t mean there is a lack of happy writing, because God’s love for us is the best news, and I hope my sincere enthusiasm for that topic shines through the pain. I also hope that constant washing of forgiveness rather than bitterness will soothe you as you confront some of the most severe moments of my life, and yours.

I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have, and I hope that my recollection of these personal (and formerly private) struggles will encourage discussions about confidence for years to come.

Happy reading,

Kristin

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 3

This is Part 3 of the series titled, “Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie.” In part one we went over the definition of self-esteem and covered the first three points of the definition in contrast to God’s word. In part two we finished the final point of self-esteem and I told you a story about Mrs. Thirsty. I ended by saying that self-esteem is a clever way of disguising sinful and destructive pride. If you missed the first two parts of this series, please go back and listen to them before you listen to this concluding part.

self esteem lie God loves you

What Self-Esteem Really Means

Let’s summarize the definition of self-esteem again since we are going to address the sin connected with it.

Self-esteem is the idea that I am able to competently deal with the challenges of life and that I think it is natural for me deserve success, achievement, fulfillment, and happiness. The simple way of defining self-esteem is thinking I am awesome at dealing with life, and I deserve all the good things coming to me.

Now let’s take a look at the first and most basic definition of “pride” according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary.

“Pride is a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by others.”

You see what I did there? Pride and self-esteem have the same basic meaning. I am tempted to go off on a rant about the ambiguity of the English language and how we use the word pride to mean different things. When your child does something well, you say you are “proud” of them, but that isn’t the same kind of pride we are talking about. But I will refrain from my rant and simply say that the word pride in the bible is never in reference to feeling joy on the behalf of others, the way we use it in English. Read more

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the series titled, “Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie.” In part one we went over the definition of self-esteem and covered the first three points of the definition in contrast to God’s word. If you haven’t listened to part one I highly recommend you listen to or read it before getting into part two, and with that recommendation, let’s get started on the fourth point of the definition of self-esteem.

self-esteem circular reasoning

Is Worldly Fulfillment Natural?

4. Self-esteem is also the experience that success, achievement, fulfillment – happiness – are right and natural for us.

I’m just going to address one thing on this list, because it is the most important. Worldly fulfillment. Is fulfillment right and natural for us?

There isn’t any specific verse that tells us, “God made you to desire Him, and if you don’t turn to Him, you will have an empty and miserable life, no matter what you do.” But we do see stories of famous people, people that have it all, committing suicide or overdosing on drugs they are taking to numb the painful emotions they feel. Worldly objects and worldly relationships just can’t fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts, can they? This reminds me of one of my favorite stories in the bible. Jesus is doing something He was always doing, looking for lost people that needed Him. He was at a Samaritan well, during the hottest part of the day, a big no-no at the time and in that culture, and he encounters a woman. Let’s go straight to the text in John 4:6-18:

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” Read more

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 1

Where the phrase “Self-Esteem” Comes From

The words, “self-esteem” have followed me around like a dark cloud overhead ever since I was very young. Recently I have started on a journey to figure out what these words really mean, and where they actually come from. I wanted to know if self-esteem was actually a biblical concept. I think the answers  will surprise you. Let’s get started with where the phrase came from.

self esteem lie

The internet is such an amazing tool! Even though it makes the spread of evil and addiction more accessible than every before in history, it is also an amazing resource for the believer. I started this project by looking for “self” and “esteem” in the bible, and there wasn’t one verse that had both words in them. In fact, there are 6 verses that contain the word “esteem” and most of them have to do with esteeming others. Only one talks about obtaining esteem for yourself, in Proverbs 3:1-4 it says,

“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and esteem in the sight of God and man.” Read more