Faith in yourself vs faith in God

Confidence is essential for doing anything challenging. Those with confidence have an energy and a magnetism: energy that enables them to push beyond the boundaries that limit most other people, and magnetism that draws others to be with them and to stretch themselves with them.

Still, confidence can easily morph into arrogance where people think that they know everything and that they are the source of their abilities and energies. When their abilities desert them, as happens to even the most talented people sooner or later, they end up unable to process that loss. Having invested their self-worth and even their self-identity in their capacity to do challenging things, they can’t face themselves, leave alone face the world. For them, it’s vital to remember the Bhagavad-gita insight that our abilities are coming from God (07.08). To lay sole claim to our abilities is ignorance. 

The devotionally inclined understand that their abilities come from God, but they may go too far on the other side by believing that they are utterly worthless. While humility, which is an essential spiritual virtue, means to not be drunk with ego, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything; that would make us impotent. 

The Bhagavad-gita urges Arjuna to become an instrument of the divine for changing the world order toward greater virtue. Implicit in this call is the understanding that we all have the potential to be instruments of the divine. Even if we believe that we are unqualified, our lack of qualification isn’t greater than God’s capacity to give us that qualification. By focusing on our potential as conscious beings, who are precious parts of God, we can be inspired to do something worthwhile with what he has given us.

One-sentence summary:

Faith in yourself without faith in God is ignorant, faith in God without faith in yourself is impotent.

Think it over:

  • How can lack of faith in God disempower us?
  • How can lack of faith in ourselves disempower us?
  • What can you do to balance faith in yourself with faith in God?
How we might defeat ourselves in our inner war
Our choice: push up or be pulled down?
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