Did you realize that one of the most effective weapons someone can use against you is your own self-doubt? Most people I know experience some measure of it from time to time, which can lead to anxiety, paranoia, mistrust, and fear – fear of failure, fear of speaking up, fear of being rejected, fear of not being believed, fear of not being good enough, on and on and on. Once those thoughts get firmly planted in our head it seems near impossible to get rid of.

In the Gospel of Matthew 4:3, “the tempter/devil” tries to plant seeds of doubt in Jesus:

“If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread…If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written…Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world…and said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me…

If, if, if? Really? Well we know that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and I’m guessing that that devilish creature also knew it too and very well. Thankfully, Jesus did not succumb to such temptation, and we have to be on guard as well.

There will always be someone willing to make us doubt ourselves, demanding more and more proof of who we say we are, our abilities, motives and purpose. They are quick to point out shortcomings and mistakes, what we didn’t do, or didn’t do in a certain way – all of which may be true or at least true from their perspective, but nevertheless. Mistakes and short comings are not summaries of who we are but rather, signs of our humanity, imperfect as we all are.

Never stop believing in yourself because God never stops believing in you. When tempted by self-doubt, take a minute to pause and breathe – breathe deeply and sit with your breath imagining angels ministering to you as they did to Jesus. Ask yourself whether or not you have done your best. What is there to learn? And then, clear your mind of negative thoughts, let go of the doubt, and be assured that you are the beloved child of God. This too shall pass.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy