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Friendship Development: Self-Confidence & Will-Power
Transcript of Friendship Development: Self-Confidence & Will-Power
Why is it important?
Friends are an important part of our lives. They are like family, only we choose them. Our choices of friends can either spiritually help us, or hinder us, and it's crucial that we make good choices regarding our friends, especially the ones we intend to keep in contact with for a longer time.
A memorable friendship in the bible was that of David and Jonathan, they were close like brothers. So close, in fact, that when Jonathan's father wanted to kill David, Jonathan did all that was in his power to protect his friend. Those are the type of friends we should have, ones that will support us in all the right that we do, and friends that aren't afraid to tell us when we are doing wrong. Friends who genuinely care for us, and want the best for us, regardless of whether or not they themselves are guaranteed safety.
An Introduction to... Self Confidence
Well, what is self-confidence? Or self-esteem? The dictionary gives us a clear definition of what it means:
A feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgement.
This is basically saying that self-confidence is having trust in yourself, and having trust in the many good qualities you possess, along with being proud of them, but not so proud until you boast. Not everyone is born with confidence in themselves, whether that confidence be in their appearance, or their qualities and characteristics. Some people will be naturally proud and happy within themselves, but others may always feel that there are so many problems and issues about themselves, but we, as Christians, need to have confidence, when with friends, and when thinking about ourselves, because if we are not confident within ourselves, we won't have the confidence to share God with our friends, or we'll channel our insecurities into a negative emotion, or habit.
What's God got to do with it?
Hebrews 10:35 says “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded." So we know that God wants us to have confidence, that confidence is a good trait that we should keep, so that we can be rewarded. Now, God wouldn't be angry at you if you naturally haven't got much self-confidence, but He does say not to throw it away. You obviously cannot throw away something you do not have, but when we get it, then we must keep it, and treasure it, and obey Him.
Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all this through him who gives me strength," which encourages confidence in yourself, and not only that, but is helpful when you don't feel very confident, so that you can think ‘God cares about me, and is with me.' God uses this verse to encourage us when we are fearful or nervous, or even feeling upset within ourselves.
Although there are many other verses in the Bible about confidence, and to encourage self-confidence, I think these two are good, simple ways to understand God's side of it.
When we, as Christians, are not confident within ourselves, we won't be as confident in sharing God's news with our friends. Friends are people who don't criticize you for who you are or what you look like, so when we stay true to ourselves, neither should we.
How can I get it?
God has blessed us in so many different ways, and when we criticize ourselves, we are, in essence, criticizing Him, and saying “God, I don't like how you've made me." You wouldn't say that in a prayer, so why should we say it to ourselves? God spent time on each and everyone of us, hence why we are all unique. No two twins are exactly identical, whether or not their own families can or can't tell them apart, God knows exactly who's who, because He made us all special. He made us all how He planned it, nothing is or was a mistake.
There are many ways the world can tell us how to be self-confident, but God's way is always the best... A couple of the steps to getting it are:
Identify your insecurities - know what it is that you don't like about yourself, if you feel comfortable, talk with a close family member
Formulate a list of your good qualities - it always makes you feel good to know how good you are, don't feel bad to make a big list, it's not boasting!
Match them up - find a matching good and not so good thing that are similar in topic, then find a way to cancel the negative one out
Smile - realise how many gret qualities you have, and understand that you were made a certain way by God, because He planned it all, down to the smallest thing.
Proverbs 25:28 says “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." This is saying that when you lack self-control, or will-power, then you're like a city with no walls. Anyone can come in and attack or storm you, and you can't do anything about it because you have no walls for protection.
What's God got to do with it?
Guess what? It's not just you! Everyone goes through peer pressure, and everyone has to make difficult choices, it's just how we deal with them, and what we learn from them.
The girl pictured on the side was a victim to peer pressure, and unfortunately, her choice ended in her tragic death. Isobel Jones-Reilly, 15, died at a party because of her poor choice to take drugs. Her friends at
Why does it happen to me?
Yes, it's true. Everyone (other that Jesus & God) does make mistakes, but the more you make the right choices, and learn to say no to temptation, the easier it becomes. Take the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for example. (Found in Daniel 3) They are a great example for being tempted and having their will-power tested. In short, the King ordered everyone to bow down and worship a golden statue, and idol. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that God said not to bow down or worship anything or anyone other than Him, so they disobeyed the King, but he didn't just let them off. He threw them into a blazing furnace, that was made seven times hotter, yet when the King looked in, they were unharmed. Not only that, but there was a fourth man standing among them. It was Jesus! He saved them from the furnace, and protected them, so they were not harmed. God rewarded them for standing up for what was right, and having the will-power to say no to what they knew was wrong.
Will Power is an important part of our lives as Christians, and followers of God. We need to choose our friends wisely, but we need to stay away from temptation. It's not always easy to end a friendship when it won't end well, but it can be even harder to say no to the things our friends want to do when we know it is wrong. True friends will help us spiritually, and not force us, using peer pressure, to do things they know that God doesn't want us to do. Peer pressure is never easy to deal with when you haven't got much will-power, so we need to stay with the right company, and learn to decline invitations to do negative things.
Peer pressure can take many forms. For example, a close friend of yours, who you have known for quite a few years, decides that they want to go out to a party on Sabbath. They may not be a SDA, but they know that you are, yet they invite you. They keep on pushing you to go, calling you names, making you really have to think. “If you say yes... but what about no?... How to decide?"
An Introduction to... Will-Power
Once again, we'll consult the dictionary about the meaning of will power, before anything else, just so we know what it means.
the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior; self-control
Funnily enough, will-power is the main synonym for self-control, which is one of the fruits of the spirit. Although it may seem obvious, not having strong will-power doesn't mean that you absolutely cannot think ‘this is right, but this is wrong' it just means that you are swayed more easily, and easily influenced. For example, if your friends are skipping classes, and you have little will-power, then you are more than likely to join them. Those are the wrong type of friends in the first place, but if you haven't got the will-power to say “no" then you can't even help to change those friends.
In the same way, when we have no will-power, when the enemy tries to tempt us with all the things of the world, he can, and we have no solid armour to protect us from him. But, Ephesians 6:13 says “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." Which says that when we have that protection that we need, when the enemy attacks us, we'll be able to stand firm in God, our solid rock, and not fall into any traps or snares, but win the battle.
the party found drugs, and convinced her to take them. She was one of the four friends that took them, but was the only one that died. A short while after her taking them, she collapsed onto the floor, and pleaded with her friends not to call the ambulance in fear that she'd get into trouble, knowing that what she had done was wrong. Eventually, her friends did call the ambulance, but it was too late. With self-control, she wouldn't have died.
But... everyone makes mistakes, right?
Yes, the answer to that question may be an obvious one, but I'm not really trying to answer the ‘yes or no' part of it, but the ‘if so, how?'...
have an influence on you...
can be dangerous if not used well...
can be affected by peer pressure...
affect each other...
There are many other ways in which Self-Confidence and Will-Power are compatible, but of those, I think that these 4 are the main ones. When you don't have self-confidence or will-power, then the outcome will be very negative, without you being able to consult your morals when making a tough choice. God wants us to be confident within ourselves, and is surely proud of us when we choose right over wrong, so why deny ourselves a chance at both of those opportunities? Even if it means being the odd one out.
Are they compatible?
So, what's so important about all this stuff? Well, friends will be a big part of our lives, and before choosing them, we need to think about whether or not they will have a good influence on us. We may look at people we want to be friends with and think ‘I know my parents wouldn't approve of them, but I can change them!' but in reality, we are just excusing their behavior. It pays off to remember that we can be changed by them too. So, what should we be like? As a good friend?...
Self-Confidence & Will-Power
The Ideal Friend
Guess what? You're not the only person looking to find a good friend! What's that got to do with anything? Well, if you're standards when looking for friends are high, but you yourself don't live up to the same high standards, people won't think twice about being friends with you, because why can you want everything in someone else that you don't possess? A couple things you might look for in a true, lifetime friend are on the list on the left, and the things that someone else might want you to be are on the right-hand side list...
Odd, isn't it? The two lists are exactly the same. That's because you should be exactly what you are looking for. Not so that you ca befriend yourself, of course, but so that others will want to be your friends, because of how you are. God wants you to be a good friend to everyone, but not everyone will like you for it, but don't force it, friendships that are meant to be will be worked out by God. It's all in His hands. He knows what is good and bad for us, so leave it up to Him, and be a good friend to all.