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November 25, 2014

Man of Mystery, Part 2

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

A man’s greatest confidence often comes from his wife.  Every man wants to feel supreme confidence.  Yet, the truth is that most men feel insecure and inadequate.  A man’s biggest fear is that he will be found out to be a fraud!  He often feels like he lives in a house of cards that, one day, will collapse around him.  Men often ask themselves, “Do I measure up?”  It’s what drives men to be workaholics.  He measures his worth based on his performance, and the more successful he is, the more insecure he feels.  Like a spy, he feels like he is playing a role on the outside but wonders when he will be found out for who is really is on the inside.  That’s why one of the greatest gifts a wife can give her husband is the gift of confidence, to let him know that she believes in him and trusts him.  Yet, only one in four men feels appreciated by his wife and kids.  Only 25% of men say they feel appreciated by the most significant people in their lives.  The most fragile thing in the world is a man’s ego.  Perhaps that’s true across the sexes but it’s especially true among men.  It must be why Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica and told them to encourage each other and build each other up.  To encourage someone is to put courage in, to give them courage, to build up, not tear down their confidence.  Still, as much as we are told to encourage one another and build each other up, there is only one true source of confidence, and that is to discover our true identity in Christ.  If you struggle with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, you must first recognize your true identity in Christ.  Your performance will rise and fall on good days and bad, but your identity in Christ will never change!  You are more than what you do!  Paul describes our identity in Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 when he said, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”   What a powerful confidence booster!  In Christ, I am a brand new creation!  In Christ, old things have passed away!  In Christ, all things are becoming new!  In Christ, I am reconciled to God!  In Christ, I am completely forgiven!  In Christ, I am righteous and holy and blameless, without a single fault because Jesus took all my sin!  If you want to build up your confidence, choose your true identity over temporary performance.  We’ve got enough in life to knock us down.  Look for ways to encourage others and build them up!